Mike Tomkins’ Simple Salmon En Croute with Spinach

Mike Tomkins’ Simple Salmon En Croute with Spinach


This simple salmon en croute with spinach is the perfect centrepiece for fish lovers. Mike Tomkins kept this salmon en croute recipe classic but high quality and full of flavour. Cooking it to temperature with Thermapen is the easiest way to know when your salmon is safely cooked but perfectly soft inside. 


Salmon en croute is one of those dishes that doesn’t get enough love. It’s super simple to put together but is stunning as a centrepiece. And it’s absolutely packed full of flavour!

A great alternative to a Sunday Roast but, more importantly, at this time of year, a fantastic option for Christmas dinner instead of going down the turkey route!

What I love about salmon en croute is ingredients can be chopped and changed to suit your preference. This is my favourite recipe, though, as the pesto and salmon go together brilliantly to create a rich and moreish dish perfect for Christmas.


  • 350g thick salmon fillet, skinless
  • 2 sheets of all butter puff pastry
  • 75g fresh pesto
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 500ml whole milk
  • 40g butter
  • 80g 00-grade flour
  • 80g mature cheddar
  • 3 egg yolk
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • We’re going to kick things off by making a thick roux sauce by melting our butter, adding the flour and forming a paste. Add the milk a little at a time. Season heavily with salt and pepper, add the juice of one lemon and the cheddar and bring together.
  • Blanch the baby spinach by adding it to boiling water for one minute before refreshing it in ice water and drying thoroughly. Add the blanched spinach to your thick cheese sauce and set aside to cool.
  • Lay one sheet of all butter puff pastry onto non-stick baking paper. Add a layer of fresh pesto a little smaller than your salmon fillet in the centre of the pastry.
  • We’re now going to build the salmon en croute. Lay the salmon carefully on top of the pesto, and then carefully add the cheese and spinach mix over the top of the salmon, using your hands to make sure the sauce is evenly spread over the fillet.
  • Brush around the outside of the pastry with egg wash; this will help to seal the two layers of pastry. Lay the next sheet of puff pastry over the salmon stack. Starting from one side, use your fingers to push out any trapped air out from within the pastry and seal the sides. I sealed the pastry old-school-style with a fork, but you can crimp it if you’re feeling confident!
  • Leaving the salmon en croute on the baking paper, pop it onto a tray and leave it in the fridge for an hour. Remove it from the fridge, decorate and brush with more egg yolk. Add back to the fridge for another hour.
  • Preheat your oven to 200 °C and place the salmon into the oven. After around 30 minutes, probe the centre of the fish with your Thermapen. The magic number you’re looking for is 50 °C.
  • Once the salmon has reached temperature, remove it from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack for 5 minutes to rest before serving. This will leave you with perfectly flakey and soft salmon. Cooking to temperature will make sure you don’t dry out this fantastic centrepiece!
Products to help you achieve perfection
" Thermapen is one of those kitchen tools I can't live without – it's something I use every single day from making sauces, to bbq cooking, to private dining and events, it comes with me everywhere! A Thermapen will improve you as a chef and a cook by taking the guess work out of complex cooking."
Mike Tomkins
Masterchef 2021 Runner Up
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