Baked Salmon, Peppers and Tomato & Basil Sauce

“A darne is a cutlet of salmon that has had the bone removed before serving. Sometimes you can buy them ready-boned, but the silvery skin is always left on during cooking. If you prefer, both the salmon and the peppers can be cooked on a barbecue rather than under the grill.” Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Passion for Seafood’ with Roz Denny

Though the salmon was fresh I lacked inspiration so delved into an old friend and stumbled on Darnes of Grilled Salmon with Peppers and Tomato and Basil Dressing. Published in 1999, Gordon Ramsay’s ‘A Passion for Seafood’ with Roz Denny has been faithful, the recipes as contemporary as those in more recent publications. Discover an excellent reference section and his divine Simple Fish Pie is quite reminiscent of a lingering lunch at a French brasserie.

My version of this recipe is perhaps slightly simpler using salmon fillets to oven-bake, along with slight adjustments to ingredients and quantities.

Pepper accompaniment: Though fiddly, it is necessary to flash cook and skin the peppers, but well worth the effort. I would even dare make a suggestion to prepare extra to store in beautiful clean jars, swaddled in fruity olive oil, chilled and served in later salads.

Half and de-seed 1 red and yellow pepper, cutting each in half again to grill, skin side up, on the hottest setting for 5-10 minutes or until blistered and blackened. Remove and cover with a clean towel until cold. Peel the skins and cut the flesh into small diamonds, reserving in a small bowl covered with a dash of olive oil.

Tomato sauce: To remove the skin from the tomatoes, the easiest method id to place in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Wait patiently for a few moments after which the skins will ‘pop’ when the tip of a sharp knife is inserted, peeling easily away.

Cut in half to remove the seeds.

Roughly chop the tomatoes and place into the goblet of a food processor or liquidiser. Throw in 2 cloves garlic, crushed and 1 shallot, chopped. On a low speed, drizzle in 150ml fruity olive oil then run until a smooth consistency is reached. To this add 2tbs raspberry vinegar and 3tbs crème fraiche then whiz again.

Shred the leaves of a handful of basil and mingle into the sauce as it is poured into a serving bowl. Cover and chill.

Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C

Place 8 salmon fillets on a parchment lined baking sheet, brushing with a dribble of olive oil. Bake for about 20 minutes in the pre-heated oven until cooked.

Carefully arrange the pepper diamonds, drizzle with tomato & basil sauce; serve and savour the praise.