Salmon with Olives, Aubergine and Sun-dried Tomatoes

Lemon grass and Szechuan pepper plus typically Mediterranean flavours create an East-West fusion dish, from Jean-Christophe Novelli
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Salmon with Olives, Aubergine and Sun-dried Tomatoes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 aubergine
  • 1 whole salmon
  • 4 tbsp tapenade
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • salt
  • pinches szechuan pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp black olives
  • 4 tbsp green olives
  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs lemon thyme
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 2baby fennel, cut into 8 pieces
  • freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 1 tbsp truffle oil
  • 1 tbsp herb oil
  • 4 sprigs chervil
  • 1 tbsp parmesan shavings


1. Pierce the skin of the aubergine all over with a fork and microwave on full power for 5-6 minutes, until soft. Peel off the skin and dice the flesh.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Cut the salmon into four pieces roughly 5cm wide. Carefully loosen the skin using a sharp knife, but leave it intact. Cut 2 diagonal slits in the skin of each piece of salmon.

3. Spread the tapenade in a thin layer between the skin and the salmon.

4. Cut the lemon grass into quarters and bash each piece with the base of a saucepan, to lightly flatten. Insert one piece into each of the diagonal slits.

5. Season the fillets with salt and Szechuan pepper. Heat half of the oil in a frying pan and fry the salmon pieces for 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden.

6. Transfer the salmon to the oven and roast for a further 5-6 minutes, until just cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

7. Using the same pan, heat the remaining olive oil and add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, cherry tomatoes, lemon thyme and lemon juice.

8. Blanch the fennel in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and add to the pan with the other ingredients. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

9. Place a piece of salmon in the centre of 4 warmed dinner plates and spoon the vegetables around. Drizzle with the truffle and herb oils and garnish with chervil and Parmesan shavings. Serve at once.

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