Salmon Wellington, also known as—salmon en croute, coulibiac, or salmon puffs—is a showstopper at the dinner table. Traditionally made with cream cheese, dill, sautéed spinach, and salmon, the fillings are infinitely riffable. Here we’ve added tender sautéed leeks, a bit of grainy mustard, and a pinch of caraway (which is entirely optional).
2 salmon tail fillets (8 to 10 ounces each), skin and pin bones removed
½ teaspoon caraway seeds, (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
5 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cups thinly sliced leek, white and pale green parts, washed well
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1 package puff pastry (14 to 17 ounces, depending on brand), thawed but well chilled
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Lightly Cure the Salmon
Sprinkle the fish with caraway and salt and let sit at room temperature while preparing the filling.
Make the Filling
Add 2 tablespoons water to a medium skillet over high heat. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, just until wilted, about 30 seconds. Transfer the spinach to a fine-mesh sieve and press out the liquid. Set aside.
In the same skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leek and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cream cheese, dill, mustard, and cooked spinach. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.
Rinse the fish and pat dry.
Form the Wellington
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide or cut the pastry into 2 equal pieces. On a lightly floured work surface, roll each piece out to a 9- by 12-inch rectangle. Place one sheet of pastry on the baking sheet and brush it with egg wash. Arrange the fillets in the center of the pastry, overlapping slightly to form an even-layered rectangle. Spread the spinach-leek mixture evenly over the fish. Set the second pastry on top, pressing it around the fish. Trim the edges neatly and crimp with a fork to seal. Brush with the egg wash. If you like, cut decorations from the scraps and arrange on top. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes.
Bake and Serve
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake until evenly golden all over and puffed, 30 to 40 minutes. Cover the edges with strips of foil if the pastry is browning more quickly than the top. Let cool slightly, then cut into slices and serve.
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Pair it Up
A dish this special calls for something bubbly. Champagne, sparkling rosé, cava, or prosecco all fit the bill.