Whole salmon (around 2.25kg)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ lemon, sliced, plus 1 cut into wedges
3 to 4 bay leaves
125ml white wine or fish stock
FOR THE MAYONNAISE
2 medium organic egg yolks
300ml vegetable oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp freshly chopped chives
1 peeled and finely sliced cucumber and watercress, to garnish
Step 1) Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/Gas 5. Grease a sheet of foil large enough to enclose the salmon completely, then place the salmon on it; season well and tuck the lemon and bay leaves inside the fish. Pour over the wine or fish stock and wrap up, sealing the foil well. Roast for around 1 hour. To check it's cooked, open the foil a little and gently pull the fin in the middle of the backbone. It's ready when it comes away easily. Keep the fish sealed in the foil and allow to cool completely.
Step 2) While the salmon is cooking, make the mayonnaise. Put the egg yolks in a bowl with 1 tsp of cold water and a little seasoning. Whisk with an electric hand whisk. Pour 1 tsp oil into the bowl and whisk well. Continue to add the oil, whisking between each addition until the mixture is thick and glossy. Stir in the lemon juice and chives and season to taste again.
Step 3) Unwrap the salmon and carefully peel away the skin. Slip a knife between the two fillets and pull out the backbone. Carefully lift the fish on to a board. Cover with overlapping cucumber slices then garnish with the lemon and watercress, and serve with the mayonnaise.
Recipe by Emma Marsden