Getting the temperature of the olive oil or duck fat right is essential to producing perfectly cooked salmon - so keep a thermometer handy as you cook. This classic dish makes a great dinner party starter or a light lunch. Source wild salmon from your local fishmonger

For the pea purée, place a pan over a low-medium heat and add 50g of butter. Once the butter is foaming, add the chopped onion and sweat for 4-5 minutes
What 'to sweat' means
To sweat is to cook something - usually vegetables - gently on a low-medium heat until tender but not coloured, while stirring frequently
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil and add 1 tbsp of salt. Once boiling, blanch the peas for 1-2 minutes and refresh in ice water. Drain, then add about 1/3 of the peas to the onions - reserve the rest of the peas for the finished dish
Add the cream to the pan and season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for a further 2 minutes then transfer to a blender. Blitz quickly - so the purée remains quite thick - and leave to chill - this will keep the purée green until ready to serve
For the salmon, warm the oil or fat in a saucepan - the pan must be large enough to allow the salmon to lie flat. Heat to 37°C - so that it is warm to your finger. Add the salmon and cook for 8-10 minutes, checking with a thermometer that the temperature doesn't go above 37°C
Remove the salmon from the pan and slice open - it should still be nice and pink inside
To finish the peas, blanch the pancetta in boiling water for a minute and then drain. Place a pan over the heat and add the remaining butter (40g). Add the rest of the peas to the pan, along with the purée. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the lettuce and season again
Spoon the peas onto the centre of each plate and top with the salmon fillets. Serve immediately
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Peas à la française

  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 90g of unsalted butter
  • salt
  • 600g of peas, fresh or frozen, podded weight
  • 100ml of whipping cream
  • 100g of pancetta, cut into batons
  • 2 baby gem lettuces, thinly sliced
  • pepper


  1. Blender
  2. Thermometer

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Tom Kitchin's precise advice for cooking the salmon should yield a delicately flavoured dish. It's simple yet extraordinary

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