“Don’t panic, but your salmon might be high on cocaine. Tests on fish caught near Seattle, in the United States, revealed that the salmon had absorbed traces of up to 81 types of drug from the water, including anti-depressants, antibiotics, nicotine and cocaine. Fingers crossed that the rivers in Scotland are a little cleaner.”

The Telegraph, 9 April 2016


The marriage of fish and smoked pork is always a successful one. A year or so ago I published a post entitled happy-go-lucky hake – a quick and simple way of cooking hake wrapped in bacon.

This is a sort of up-market version of that using salmon and Parma ham instead of hake and bacon. Saucy Dressings’ chief taster likes the ‘lemony taste of the flageolet beans’. I had it waiting for us one evening after a long drive and it heated up well and quickly.


For two


  • 2 x skinless, boneless salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp green pesto
  • 2 slices of Parma ham (or San Daniele ham)
  • 1 leek
  • 1 x 440g tin flageolet beans, drained
  • ½ lemon, juice and zest
  • 120 ml/½ cup red vermouth
  • Indonesian long pepper
  • Olive oil for frying


  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C
  2. Massage the pesto over the fillets – one tbsp. each – and then wrap in the ham
  3. Put them on an oiled baking tray and roast for eight minutes. Keep warm if you somehow take longer dealing with the leek and beans than normally necessary – child crisis or phone call from friend.
  4. Meanwhile slice the leek into thick coin width rounds – put in a colander and rinse if there is any dirt caught between the leaves
  5. Fry the leeks in a small frying pan for a couple of minutes to get them soft, then add the vermouth and cook for another five minutes or so until the vermouth reduces a little.
  6. Heat the drained beans in a small saucepan with a little olive oil and the lemon juice and zest.
  7. At the last minute season both the beans and leaks with generous grinds of Indonesian long pepper and serve

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