Is there anything better than having friends and family over for a festive, celebratory meal? After the last year and a half, we feel extra #blessed when we can safely get together with loved ones, so we like to cook up something special when they’re over. But we don’t want to spend all of our time trapped in the kitchen. That’s why we’ve been turning to recipes like Jamie Oliver’s Stuffed Salmon. It looks and tastes elegant and complex, but it’s secretly easy and fast to make. Even better? You can make part of it the day before you have company, freeing up even more time during your celebration to hang out and enjoy your friends and family.
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The stuffed salmon is part of the “Sunny Gathering” feast featured on page 80 of Oliver’s latest cookbook, Together, which is all about cooking celebratory but simple meals for the family. Luckily, he also shared the recipes for the feast online, so you can order a copy of the book then make this recipe while waiting for it to arrive.
The first step is making an olive, anchovy, caper, and herb mixture that rests overnight, so the flavors can all meld together. It’s sort of like a rustic tapenade. You can make it ahead of time to break up the work load, but you can make it the day of, too. Sometimes we forget the make-ahead steps, and in this case Oliver says it will still turn out great.
The next day, this mixture is stuffed inside a rich, luxurious piece of salmon. Just cut slits throughout the salmon and fill them with the savory mixture. If you have any leftover, just sprinkle it in the pan around the salmon – it will combine with the juices of the fish as it roasts, creating a savory sauce.
When the salmon comes out of the oven (in just 20 minutes), you’ll have a decadent entree that’s definitely worthy of any celebration. Rich, flaky salmon is infused with the briny flavor of olives, capers, and anchovies, and the woodsy aroma of rosemary and slight kick of heat from a red chile takes things to new sensory heights. You can serve the dish with roasted tomatoes and potato salad, like Oliver, but we also think it would be divine paired with a wild rice pilaf and a simple green salad.
All told, it takes about an hour of work total, including cooking time, to get this wow-worthy entree on the table. That’s the kind of entertaining we’re all about these days – maximum flavor, maximum time to spend with our loved ones.
Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below:
Watch: We Tried Ina Garten’s Overnight Mac & Cheese & We Totally Get Why It Broke the Internet