These little packets of goodness are fancy enough for guests but also make for a perfect weeknight meal. Salmon Wellington comes together fast and includes a good hit of omega-3 fatty acids. Win-win-win!
Types of Salmon
My mother-in-law always seems to have good things to eat in her fridge. She regularly has fresh and freshly smoked salmon on hand. When family, friends, and neighbors go fishing off the coasts of Oregon and Alaska, they share their catch with her and I’m envious.
The salmon caught in the Pacific Northwest is typically one of the wild Pacific species. These include Chinook (also called king), chum (dog), coho (silver), pink (humpback), and sockeye (red).
Seriously, why do salmon species have two names?
One is a common species name (like Chinook) and one is a nickname (king). Either name may be used by fishermen, fishmongers, and regular people like you and me. Fishermen and fishmongers are regular people, too, but you know what I mean.
What will you most likely find at your local grocery store? It depends on where you shop. At my local market, there are only two choices: Atlantic salmon (which is farmed) and sockeye (which is labeled wild caught).
As a general rule, Chinook is the most expensive while chum and pink are the cheapest (and often only available canned). The other varieties fall somewhere in between, price-wise. The good news: all are delicious and available fresh, frozen, or canned to accommodate every budget level.
Farm-raised Versus Wild-caught
I’m not talking about your son’s ex-girlfriend, silly. We are still on the subject of salmon.
We all want the answer to the question: which one is better, farm-raised or wild-caught? I’ve read the pros and cons of both and it seems you could go either way.
- Have higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids (which are good for you) than wild-caught because of the farm’s highly controlled diets.
- Are given antibiotics, which can be passed along to you when you eat them.
- Have higher levels of PCB, a type of pollutant, which has been linked to various medical problems.
- Have good levels of omega-3 fatty acids but it varies because the diet of the fish in the wild isn’t consistent.
- Feed on smaller fish that may have eaten plastic waste in the ocean, which then gets passed along to you.
- Have higher levels of mercury than farm-raised salmon, which is not good for you.
Given all the information, I’ve come to a conclusion. I don’t know which one is better. So, I eat what is available and within my budget.
I think salmon is especially good when wrapped in puff pastry a la Beef Wellington.
We’ve talked about Beef Wellington before and I made a vegan version of it here. The Cliff Notes explanation: a savory filling that usually includes sauteed mushrooms is wrapped into a puff pastry log and baked until golden brown. It is cut into slices to reveal the inside and served.
Consider this the pescatarian version of this famous dish. This riff includes sauteed spinach, garlic, and mushrooms along with a salmon fillet for the filling. It is crispy on the outside, thanks to the puff pastry, and tender on the inside.
- I like to remove the skin from the salmon fillet before placing it inside the pastry but you don’t have to. You’re an adult, so do what you want.
- The flavors of this dish are subtle and clean. If you want to zhush it up with other spices, have at it.
- There is no dairy in this recipe, so your DF peeps will be happy about this.
Many thanks to Diane Morrissey for her Salmon Wellington recipe.Print
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 box (1.1 lb) puff pastry (2 sheets), thawed
- 4 Tbsp plain bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 4 salmon fillets (1 lb total)
- Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400F/204C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Sauté the garlic, spinach, onions, and mushrooms until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the spinach is wilted. Continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated. Set aside and let cool.
- Roll out the puff pastry sheet on a floured surface. Cut both sheets in half so that you have 4 pieces. These pieces will be folded in half to enclose the filling and sealed, so sprinkle 1 tablespoon of bread crumbs on half of each pastry piece.
- Evenly divide the spinach-mushroom mixture over the bread crumbs and sprinkle with dill and lemon zest. Place the salmon fillet on top of the spinach mixture. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Using a pastry brush or your fingers, brush the egg wash on all the edges of the pastry.
- Lift and fold the empty half over the salmon and press to seal the edges. Crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. Cut slits on top to allow the steam to escape. Brush the pastry with the remaining eggs wash.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Garnish with parsley and serve warm.
Keywords: salmon wellington