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Lemon and pepper salmon with Bearnaise sauce

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Lemon and pepper salmon with Bearnaise sauce

While the fashion is to serve salmon rare, I like it to be a little more cooked so that the fillet flakes easily but remains moist. You can easily tell by looking at the side of the salmon fillets while they cook. The flesh will turn a dull pink colour and remove from the pan just as this happens. If you do not have lemon scented olive oil, just use plain olive oil.


  • 6 fillets of salmon (approximately 200 grams each)
  • 2 tablespoons white peppercorns, crushed
  • ¼ cup lemon-scented olive oil
  • grated rind 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon crushed flaky salt

Bernaise sauce

  • ½ shallot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2-3 peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons white wine or tarragon vinegar
  • 125 grams unsalted butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon each chopped tarragon and chervil

Grilled asparagus

  • 600 grams asparagus



  1. Cut each steak in half to place into a shallow container. Sprinkle with the peppercorns, lemon-scented olive oil, lemon rind, crushed pepper and flaky salt. Cover and set aside for about 20 minutes.
  2. Heat a frying pan until very hot and place the salmon pieces in flesh side down. Always place fish into a pan the side down you wish to serve uppermost to your guests. Cook for 2 minutes and then turn. Cook a further 2-3 minutes or until the salmon is medium. It should flake but not be over cooked.
  3. Remove from the pan and place quickly onto a plate. Spoon over the Bearnaise sauce and arrange grilled asparagus on top. Garnish with herbs such as chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon or a mixture of these.

Bearnaise sauce

  1. Put the shallots, peppercorns, vinegar and water into a saucepan and simmer over a low heat untikl reduced to 2 tablespoons of liquid. Drain.
  2. Melt the butter. Mix the egg yolks with the strained reduced vinegar in a double saucepan or heat-proof bowl.
  3. Place over a saucepan of simmering water and gradually whisk in the melted butter to make a thick sauce. Stir in the chopped herbs. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Grilled asparagus

  1. Trim the ends of the asparagus and peel the stems from about halfway down. Place into boiling water and bring back to the boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and place into a hot frying pan with a little oil or butter and cook until lightly browned. Alternatively this can be done on a barbecue. The asparagus can also be blanched and refreshed in cold water ahead of time and grilled just before serving.

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