Thank you for the nice comments about my new TV series.

It was so much fun visiting the tapas bars and learning from the creativity of the many world class chefs.

I loved our time in Mallorca but, as you know, I love our great Irish fish.

So this week I have two tasty salmon recipes. I notice that salmon is becoming very popular.

It is worth making sure you get organic Irish salmon. Our waters along the west coast are ideal for salmon. This seared salmon recipe also works well with hake, haddock, monkfish or trout.

This pea and watercress purée is also delicious with meat. Sometimes I add a spoonful of pesto. Spinach is good instead of the watercress if you like.

The crumbs on the sesame-crusted salmon give it a nice crunchy texture. This is lovely with rice, or grilled vegetables, or baked potatoes.

The pickled carrots and chilli are sweet and sour with a nice modern spicy twist. Lot of people are growing cucumbers and they would work well in this instead of the carrots.

Happy cooking,



Seared salmon with pea and watercress purée

Serves four to six

4-6 × 150g (5oz) salmon fillets, skin on (scaled), organic if possible

1 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for brushing

25g (1oz) butter

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pea and watercress purée:

500g (1lb 2oz) frozen peas

1 heaped tbsp chopped fresh mint (stalks removed and reserved)

100g (4oz) watercress

4 tbsp crème fraîche

To serve:

seasonal vegetables

  • 1 Lightly score the salmon skin four or five times diagonally, taking care not to cut into the flesh. Brush the skin with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • 2 Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add the salmon, skin side down, in one layer. Cook for 6-7 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes to ensure the top of the fish is cooked through if necessary or carefully turn over and cook flesh side down for another 1-2 minutes, until just cooked through and tender.
  • 3 Meanwhile, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the peas and mint stalks and cook for 3 minutes. Drain, reserving a cup of the water. Discard the mint stalks.
  • 4 Return the peas to the pan and, using a hand-held blender, blitz with the watercress and mint leaves to a coarse purée (you can also do this in a food processor).
  • 5 Add the crème fraîche and a little of the reserved pea water if necessary to loosen the mixture. Divide the pea and watercress purée between plates and top with the salmon, skin side up.
  • 6 Serve with seasonal vegetables.
  • Sesame-crusted salmon with pickled carrot and cucumber salad

    Sesame-crusted salmon with pickled carrot and cucumber salad. \ Photography: Claire Nash. Food styling: Janine Kennedy

    Serves four to six

    1 heaped tbsp white sesame seeds

    1 heaped tbsp black sesame seeds

    4-6 × 150g (5oz) salmon fillets, skin on

    2 tsp rapeseed oil

    1 × 150g (5oz) packet of baby cucumbers

    2 Little Gem lettuces, shredded

    4 spring onions, finely chopped

    20g (¾oz) fresh coriander, leaves stripped (and stalks discarded)

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    For the pickled carrots and chilli:

    5 tbsp rice wine vinegar

    5 tbsp water

    1 tbsp caster sugar

    4 carrots, peeled and julienned

    1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

  • 1 Put the rice wine vinegar in a pan with the water and sugar. Add a pinch of salt and bring to a simmer.
  • 2 Put the carrots and chilli in a bowl, then pour the vinegar mixture on top. Set aside to pickle.
  • 3 Meanwhile, place the black and white sesame seeds on a plate and mix well to combine. Press in each salmon fillet, skin side down, until evenly coated in the sesame seed mixture.
  • 4 Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the salmon fillets and cook, skin side down, for 3 minutes. Turn over and cook for another 2 minutes or until cooked to your liking.
  • 5 Pare the cucumbers into ribbons and put into a bowl with the lettuce, spring onions and coriander.
  • 6 Drain off the pickled carrot and chilli and add to the bowl along with a good grinding of pepper, then toss to lightly coat.
  • 7 Arrange the salad on plates and add a piece of salmon alongside to serve.