Roman-style salmon

The Romans were fond of cooking fish with dates, honey and spices - the idea works surprisingly well and makes for a richly-flavoured and special dish.

You can use this recipe to make either two individual parcels or put the fillets together and make one larger one.  Double the recipe to make a dinner-party sized en croute for four people!


  • 2

    BigFish salmon fillets, defrosted

  • 1x 320g pack

    ready made shortcrust pastry, can use fresh or frozen (defrosted as per pack instructions).

  • 40g

    dried dates, stoned and chopped

  • 4

    whole cloves, ground in a pestle and mortar

  • 25g


  • 1 tbsp


  • 1/4 tsp

    ground ginger

  • 1/2 tsp

    ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp

    Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 tbsp

    chopped fresh mint

  • 1 dessertspoon

    clear honey

  • a little milk

    for glazing


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas Mark 7.

  • 2.

    Melt the butter and mix in dates, ground cloves, raisins, ginger, cumin, mint and Dijon mustard to make a paste. Stir in the honey at the end.

  • 3.

    Roll out the ready-made shortcrust pastry into a rectangular shape.  You can either split the pastry into 2 sheets (about 16x20cm each) or make one sheet if you want to make a single large en croute.

  • 4.

    Put the defrosted salmon fillets on to one end of the pastry sheet(s). Leave enough room to fold the pastry over the fish to make parcels (or one parcel).

  • 5.

    Spoon the spicy fruit paste on top of the salmon fillets and spread to cover evenly.

  • 6.

    Now use a pastry brush to brush milk around the edges and fold the pastry over to make your parcel.Make sure all the edges are completely sealed – use a fork to crimp the edges if you wish.

  • 7.

    Brush a little more milk over the pastry to glaze and put the parcel(s) on a lightly greased baking tray.

  • 8.

    Cook in the oven for 30 minutes until pastry is golden brown.  Serve with some fresh steamed vegetables.

  • “You can make this dish in advance if you like and keep it wrapped in the fridge for a day or so, but do remove from the fridge 45 minutes before cooking. ”

    Louise Coulbeck

With thanks to Anne Williams 1987 book 'F for Fish' for the inspiration.

Preparation Time


Cooking Time