Salmon gratin that adds an exciting twist to the traditional Scandinavian fish gratin
This is a salmon gratin that adds an exciting twist to the traditional Scandinavian fish gratin. We take you on a culinary journey with a slightly different preparation method and a flavourful combination of spices. The crispy topping, enriched with basil and garlic, complements perfectly the slightly more seasoned filling of fish and sauce.
Try this exotic salmon gratin and discover a new favourite among fish dishes. This dish not only provides a tasty variation but is also a fantastic way to enjoy the health benefits of salmon. According to the latest dietary recommendations, everyone is encouraged to include at least 350 g of fatty fish like salmon in their weekly diet.
The recipe is tailored for two people, but by doubling the quantity, you can easily prepare a delicious dinner for four.
300-350 g salmon fillet (skinless and boneless)
2 dl macaroni
Olive oil for frying
40 g butter
2 tbsp spelt flour or all-purpose flour
3 dl milk
2 tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 Egg white from 1 egg
2 egg yolks
½ pinch Cayenne pepper
½ pinch Nutmeg
½ tsp Salt
1 pinch Pepper
4-5 slices of white bread
1 clove of garlic
10-12 fresh basil leaves
A bit of grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Some olive oil
- Begin by boiling macaroni as directed on the package. Set it aside.
- Cut the salmon into cubes of approximately 2×2 cm. Lightly fry the salmon in a pan until it begins to turn golden. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.
- The sauce is a classic béchamel with a twist. Finely chop the onion and set it aside.
- Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan. Gradually add milk and whisk to create a lump-free mixture. Add the onion and bring to a boil, continuously whisking to avoid burning. Let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes to eliminate the raw milk taste.
- Add spices, and remember, you can always adjust to taste. Cayenne pepper can be strong, so use less for a milder flavour.
- Set the saucepan aside and let the sauce cool. Once it’s cool enough so the egg yolks don not set, quickly whisk them in. Transfer the sauce to a large enough bowl to accommodate both fish and macaroni. Set aside.
- Whip the egg whites until stiff using an electric mixer. Afterward, use the mixer to make the sauce even airier.
- Then, gently fold the stiffly whipped egg whites into the sauce.
- Add the macaroni and salmon to the sauce, gently fold everything together, and transfer to a suitable large ovenproof dish.
- If desired, remove the crusts from the bread. Process the bread slices in a food processor until you achieve fine crumbs.
- Add garlic and basil, process until well mixed.
- Transfer the crumb mixture to a small bowl. Gradually add a litle olive oil and mix with your hands to ensure the oil is absorbed into the breadcrumbs. Then, spread the mixture over the dish as a topping.
- Grate a bit of Parmesan if desired – you can skip this if preferred. Parmesan is a pricey cheese, and a little goes a long way, serving more as a spice to enhance the flavour and add extra crunch.
Baking or gratinating: Preheated oven to 190°C, for approximately 20-25 minutes, until the topping begins to turn lightly golden.
Served: Salmon gratin can be served as it is or with accompaniments such as boiled potatoes, mashed potatoes, etc. It goes well with a shredded raw vegetable mix of carrots or a combination of raw vegetables like carrots, apple, cauliflower, etc. Coleslaw can also complement it nicely.
Allergy: Gluten. It’s easy to adapt the dish for gluten intolerance by making the sauce with gluten-free flour and using gluten-free bread. For those with lactose allergies, a simple solution is to opt for lactose-free milk. The high FODMAP content is due to lactose in milk, shallots, and wheat flour. By using lactose-free milk and spelt flour, the FODMAP content is minimized. Since there is a small amount of shallots overall, this does not significantly affect the FODMAP content.
Health benefits of eating salmon: Benefits salmon
Why do the health authorities recommend eating fish: Fish recommendation
There has also been more research indicating that consuming fatty fish, in particular, is beneficial for women in menopause. There is also research suggesting that it may delay the onset of menopause. Read more about this: Menopause & fish
A persistent, albeit erroneous, myth is that frying in olive oil is unhealthy. The Mediterranean diet has consistently been recognized as the world’s healthiest diet. In this diet, all dishes are fried in olive oil, a practice that has been ongoing for many centuries. Olive oil has the highest frying temperature among all oils and loses minimal amounts of its healthy properties during frying. It turns out that frying in extra virgin olive oil may actually be healthier than boiling. Read more about the benefits of frying in olive oil here: Frying & olive oil
Research on frying with olive oil: Research olive oil