Salmon and asparagus with tarragon hollandaise recipe

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Salmon and asparagus with tarragon hollandaise is an impressive salmon dish that is perfect for spring dinner parties. Making your own hollandaise might seem scary, but it's so worth the effort.

salmon and asparagus
Serves6
SkillMedium
Preparation Time25 mins
Cooking Time25 mins
Total Time50 mins
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeMid
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories521 Kcal26%
Fat46 g66%
Saturated Fat21 g105%
Carbohydrates2 g1%

A fabulously fancy dish that isn't hard to create at all.

This salmon and asparagus with tarragon hollandaise looks amazing. It's perfect for a special dinner when you're having guests over because, although it looks incredible, it's actually really quite simple to create. We've given it a medium skill rating because it includes a homemade hollandaise sauce. Now, even rather experienced chefs sometimes find this type of sauce splits. It can end up looking like an oily, yellow porridge instead of a creamy smooth emulsion. Don't worry, check out our top tips for how to prevent this, and rescue your hollandaise if it happens. This dish is at its absolute best when you can use seasonal British asparagus, which tastes better than the imported stuff. Look out from it from Easter til early summer.

Ingredients

For the salmon

  • 2 x 300g sides of salmon
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • handful of herbs such as parsley, dill, basil
  • 450g fine asparagus

For the hollandaise

  • 3 free range, large egg yolks
  • 200g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 4tbsp chopped tarragon

WEIGHT CONVERTER

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Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/475ºF/Gas 7. Sandwich the salmon together with a few slices of lemon and the fresh herbs in between, then tie to secure with string. Place on a baking tray and roast for 15 minutes.

  2. Remove from the oven, spread the asparagus around the salmon and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes until cooked through and the asparagus is slightly charred.
  3. To make the hollandaise, beat the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl over a pan of slowly simmering water. Add the cubes of butter one at a time, whisking until each one dissolves then repeating. Beat in the lemon juice and tarragon and season well.

  4. Serve the fish in slices, with the asparagus and a couple of tablespoons of hollandaise sauce per person.

Top tips for making salmon and asparagus with tarragon hollandaise

There are many methods for making hollandaise sauce but this one is pretty foolproof. Still there are some steps you can take to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Start with the eggs and the butter at room temperature, so that the temperature changes are not too sudden. Ensure the pan of water the eggs yolks are in is only gently simmering, not at a rolling boil where the water can jump into the bowl, or the yolks can scramble. Don't add the butter too quickly or it can cool the yolks too much. Whisk the yolks briskly and continuously until the sauce is complete.

If the hollandaise starts to split and looks grainy and oily, you can still salvage it. Take it off the heat and put a new bowl in the gently simmering water. Beat another egg yolk with a tablespoon of water in this bowl, then slowly add your split sauce to this new yolk. You should get a smooth emulsion.

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