This is my trusty and reliable menu plan I use if I’m cooking for a big gathering with family and friends. Everything can be prepared ahead and served cold if you want to, or warmed if you prefer. It’s a menu that kids and adults alike enjoy and, while it looks good, and its all delicious, it’s also very simple to prepare, especially as everything can be made the night before or in the morning.
Poached salmon A side or half a side salmon depending on your numbers. A 1kg whole side salmon can serve 8-10 people. A 500g half side can serve 4-6 depending on how much they help themselves to! For a summery vibe, simply serve on a large plate with lemon wedges.
Ingredients - for a half side of salmon - double up for a whole side, quadruple for a whole salmon
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1/2 cup of water
Several sprigs of fresh dill or a pinch of dried dill
Sprig of fresh flat leaf parsley
1 shallot thinly sliced (you can replace with white onion)
A side or half side of salmon
1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees fan
2. Put the wine, water, dill, parsley and shallot in an ovenproof pan (I use my Falconware dishes) which you can use on the hob including induction, an in the oven). Bring to a simmer on medium heat for 4 minutes until the shallot is starting to soften, and some of the liquid is reduced
3. Add the salmon and sprinkle with salt to taste, skin side down, on top of the liquid, herbs and shallot
4. Cover the pan tightly with tin foil and pop in the oven. Cook for 20 - 24 minutes but check at around 20 minutes as you dont want to overcook the salmon. Carefully insert a knife in the middle to check the fish is cooked.
5. Take the dish out of the oven and set aside to cool, with the foil still on. Carefully lift the fish onto a plate - if you wanted to remove the skin, cover the fish with another plate and turn it upside down carefully so you can remove the skin the reverse the plates again for serving.
6. Serve with lemon wedges, and sprinkle with fresh dill. You could also dress with thinly sliced cucumber
If you have lots of guests, you could cook a whole salmon. Here's how...
Serve your salmon with:
~ Boiled new, or Jersey Royal potatoes, the smallest you can find dressed with olive oil or butter and snipped chives or parsley. These can be served cold or warm.
~ Pasta bows with homemade, or shop-bought pesto. I buy the fresh pesto for this recipe although if you are cooking for more you could always mix it in with a jar of cheaper pesto sprinkled with pine nuts on top and some fresh basil leaves.
~ Mayonnaise mixed with chopped herbs. Dill, parsley and chives work well. Serve in a nice bowl alonsgide the salmon
If it's a big gathering, I also like to do a whole ham cooked in Coca Cola. I use Nigella's method, but there are lots of others online
See the method here
Serve it with a large bowl of salad leaves and lots of sliced French bread.
If you have vegan guests, this broccoli tart recipe looks great and is definitely on my list to try.
You've got yourself a feast! Need a few extra bits for the table? Take a look at our Living & Dining collection here.
All you need to serve your feast
shop our salad servers here.