Saltimbocca of Salmon
Work Time: 20-25 minutes
Cooking Time: 1-2 minutes
Chef Chambrette, a legend at La Varrenne cooking school, introduced me
to this variation on traditional saltimbocca of veal. Slices of salmon
are marinated in olive oil and herbs, wrapped around smoke salmon, and
sautéed. A light tomato-basil garnish is the finishing touch.
The salmon slices can be marinated and
rolled up to 4 hours ahead and kept refrigerated. They should be
sautéed just before serving.
*plus 1.5-2 hours marinating time
1kg fresh salmon fillet, with its skin
5-7 sprigs of fresh basil
250g sliced smoked salmon
Salt and pepper
For the marinade
Juice of ½ lemon
175ml olive oil
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
For the tomato-basil garnish
4 tomatoes, total weight about 625g
1 small bunch of fresh basil
30ml olive oil
1 pinch of granulated sugar
Prepare and marinate the fresh salmon
Rinse the salmon fillet with cold water
and pat dry with paper towels. If necessary, cut out the remnants of
the central bone and pull our any pin bones with the tweezers.
With the tail facing away from you and
working towards it, use the filleting knife to cut 12 diagonal slices
from the salmon, making slices which are as thin and even as possible.
Leave any skin behind.
Make the marinade; put the lemon juice
and oil in shallow dish. Strip the thyme leaves from the stalks and add
to the dish with pepper. Crush the bay leaves into the dish.
Add the slices of fresh salmon to the
marinade. Cover and marinate the slices in the refrigerator, 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make the tomato-basil garnish.
Make the tomato-basil garnish
Cut the cores from the tomatoes; score
and “X” on the base of each. Immerse in boiling water until the skin
starts to split, 8-15 seconds. Transfer to cold water. When cold, peel
off the skin. Cut crosswise in half, squeeze out the seeds, then chop.
Strip the basil leaves from the stalks
and pile them on the chopping board. With the chef’s knife, coarsely
chop the leaves.
Mix the tomatoes with the oil and chopped
basil and season to taste with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Let
stand to marinate 30-60 minutes at room temperature.
Roll and cook the saltimbocca
Transfer the fresh salmon slices from the
marinade to paper towels. Pat dry with paper towels.
Strip the basil leaves from the stalks.
Cut the smoke salmon slices into pieces the same size as the fresh
Assemble the saltimbocca: arrange a piece
of smoked salmon on top of each of 3 fresh salmon slices. Put a basil
leaf in the centre of each piece of smoked salmon.
Roll up the assembled saltimbocca. Secure
each with a cocktail stick, threading it in and out along the seam.
Assemble and roll the remaining fresh
salmon slices, pieces of smoked salmon, and basil leaves in the same
Heat the butter in the frying pan and add
a batch of salmon saltimbocca, leaving space around them in the pan.
Cook the saltimbocca over high heat,
turning them occasionally, until lightly browned on all sides, 1-2
Test the saltimbocca for tenderness by
piercing with a skewer. Remove from the pan and keep them warm while
you cook the remaining saltimbocca.
Remove the cocktail sticks from the
saltimbocca. Arrange them on warmed individual plates and serve this
simple salmon recipes at once with the tomato-basil garnish.