One of the problems with buying fresh herbs is that they generally come in large bunches which are way more than you need, or in tiny posies that are way too pricey for what you get.
Ideally you would have an ample supply of all types of herbs in your garden. Standards like parsley, rosemary, thyme and oregano flourish throughout the year in ours (see: Our herb garden) and I feel sorry for those who have to cook a recipe that requires just three sprigs of thyme and a tablespoon of chopped parsley. One wonders how many people are tempted to break off the few sprigs they require from a bunch while they are out shopping.
Other herbs like basil and tarragon die down or won’t grow in the colder months. There are some herbs, though, that we have very little luck with at any time. Dill is one of them.
Dill inspires something Scandinavian
We planted some dill seedlings a month ago expecting to have a winter supply, but within a couple of days they had been nibbled away to stumps and a few sprigs! So having decided to make dill pickles (see: Dill Pickles) we had bought a large bunch of dill but ended up with a substantial quantity left over.
So how to use the excess dill? Something Scandinavian came to mind when we checked what else was in the fridge and found some sour cream and capers, and some mustard in the cupboard.
Thus derived this very simple but yummy method of cooking fresh salmon. It may become one of your standbys!
Salmon with Mustard and Dill Cream Sauce
The salmon can be baked or microwaved. The latter gives a surprisingly good result and so quickly, as basically the salmon only needs to be heated through. You could use a mixture of baking and microwaving.
Depending on how many serves you require, use a baking utensil or ramekins that hold the fillets comfortably. Or you could cook the salmon in pouches of baking paper (which can themselves be wrapped in foil if you are not using the microwave).
The ingredients are given below for one person. Increase the quantities in proportion, adjusting cooking times depending on the size of the dish used and the cooking method.
Ingredients for each serve:
□ 250 g thick fillet of Atlantic salmon or ocean trout, skin off
□ 2 to 3 tbsp sour cream (or double cream or a mixture of both)
□ 1 tsp Dijon mustard
□ dash salt and pepper
□ 1 heaped tsp capers in vinegar (or possibly chopped dill pickle, cornichon or gherkin)
□ 1 heaped tbsp chopped dill
If you are going to bake the fish, turn the oven to 180oC.
Combine the sour cream, mustard and salt and pepper to make a sauce.
Add the fish to the cooking utensil and cover all over with sauce.
Top with capers and dill.
Microwave for three to six minutes on high. Or bake in the oven for 25 to 35 minutes.
Check part way through and gently turn the fillets over and around if they are not cooking evenly. Cook for longer as required, especially if cooking more than two fillets.
Aim for salmon which is only just cooked and warm in the centre.
Serve: Serve simply with steamed rice, steamed potatoes or fresh bread.
Equipment: A baking dish or ramekins that will hold the fish comfortably, microwave proof as required.
Difficulty and Time: 2/5, Not Difficult. Five to ten minutes.
If you have any inspirational moments based on what’s in the fridge or on the shelves, we are happy to hear about them, including the ingredients, (good quality photos if you have any) and why it turned out so well.