I’m not really sure whose “idea” it was, but what I do know is that the dish was created to celebrate Arthur Wellesley’s victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo on June 18, 1885. Wellesley was the first Duke of Wellington and eventually became the Prime Minister hence, beef Wellington was created in his honor. Is there any significance to the pastry wrapping the meat and the man himself? Eh, I can’t answer that but what I do know is that when made with salmon instead of beef, it is absolutely one of the most indulgent, and my most favorite dishes.
Now if you’re reading this wondering how this recipe relates to someone who is plant-based, keep reading …
First of all, the puff pastry is vegan, but I do use an egg for the egg wash and, well, clearly there’s a piece of fish being used as well. So this isn’t an “almost vegan” dish at all, but it’s a hell of a lot healthier than beef Wellington and quite frankly, tastes much better. And remember peeps, we’re advocating a plant-BASED diet. Not one that’s all plants, all the time. Me, my diet is probably 90 percent plants. I still eat a little bit of seafood every now and then and will cook with eggs when necessary. And yes, like I’ve said before, I can’t walk away from French cheese … I don’t eat dairy (other than the occasional bite of Brie or Camembert) and I don’t eat beef, poultry or pork but Eric lets a little more animal products sneak into his diet than I do. Still, he eats a lot more plants than he used to so yes, he too follows a plant-BASED diet. It’s not an all-or-nothing approach. But it works for us … now here’s how to make this amazing dish.
PREP TIME: 30 minutes | COOK TIME: 1 hour
- Olive oil
- 1 to 1 ½ pound salmon filet
- 2 sheets puff pastry, 3rd sheet optional
- 1 bag fresh spinach, or around 5 cups uncooked
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup white wine
- ½ cup Parmesan (optional)
- 4 oz vegan (or regular if you must) cream cheese
- ⅓ cup bread crumbs
- 1 tsp fresh dill and or chives
- 1 egg, beaten and mixed with 1 TBS cold water
- Salt and pepper to taste
Blanch or steam spinach. Drain, making sure to remove all the water, set aside. Saute shallot, celery and garlic in 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add spinach and wine and cook for another 5 minutes being sure to fully mix all ingredients. Add cream cheese and stir well. Remove from heat and place into a large bowl, add parmesan and bread crumbs and herbs, mix well.
Unroll puff pastry sheets and place one on its included parchment paper, directly on baking sheet. Place salmon filet in the center of the pastry and evenly layer the spinach mixture over the fish being sure to cover evenly. Note, this should be easy to “pack,” it shouldn’t be “liquidy” at all. Next, cover with the second piece of puff pastry, sealing the edges and making small slits across the top and if you’re feeling fancy, use a third piece of pastry to make cutouts like stars or something else. Brush the top with the egg wash. Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: Our recipes are just that, ours. Some are modified versions of dishes we’ve had elsewhere or old-favorites that contained animal proteins, while others are a concentrated effort of trial and error. But all are intended to be altered by you and made to suit your tastes. So if you want more garlic or none at all, go for it. You do you ; )
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