Salmon with English Parsley Sauce

There were 5 girls in my family growing up (including my Mum) so we had salmon for dinner quite a lot, and it was one of the best things that My Mum cooked. (Note how I didn’t say favourite!) ;-) I don’t think she ever cooked any other type of fish, and it’s hard for me to know which types to trust, because I don’t eat bottom feeders. P.S. Who-ever invented the phrase BOTTOM feeders?! :-/

I really wanted to call her tonight to ask her how to cook it, but it was 1 a.m her time, when it was dinner time in Washington- so I couldn’t. I also wanted to ask my mother in law because she also cooks salmon perfectly, but she was riding some Harry Potter ride at Disneyworld, so I couldn’t get through to her!

So by 5:15pm, I had two whiney babies clinging to my legs, no recipe to work with, and nothing in my oven, so I decided to just “wing it.” And it actually turned out pretty amazing! I used Delia Smith’s recipe for an English parsley sauce, and adapted it ever so slightly, and it was SO GOOD that I just had to share.

One salmon filet
2 lemons
Salt & Pepper

Line a baking tray with foil. Coat the filet with butter. (2-3 Tbsp)
Season generously with salt and pepper and top with slices of lemon Bake at 400degF for 20-25 mins (10 mins for every 1 inch of thickness)

For the parsley sauce: (link to the original English recipe) My American conversion below:

2 cups milk
3-4 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
1 slice onion (5mm thick)
1 blade mace
10 whole peppercorns
3/4 oz plain flour
1 1/2 oz butter
1 Tbsp cream
1 tsp lemon juice
salt and pepper (about 2 tsp each)

Place the milk, bay leaf, onion, mace and peppercorns in a small pan, bring everything slowly up to simmering point, then pour the mixture into a bowl and leave aside to get completely cold.

When you’re ready to make the sauce, strain the milk back into the pan, discard the flavourings, then add the flour and butter and bring everything gradually up to simmering point, whisking continuously with a balloon whisk until the sauce has thickened and is smooth and glossy. Then turn the heat down to its lowest possible setting and let the sauce cook gently forminutes, stirring from time to time.

To serve the sauce, add the chopped parsley, cream and lemon juice, taste and season. (I found that between 1 and 2 tsp salt and 1-2 tsp pepper was perfect) otherwise it was a little too bland and creamy.


This was such a fast, healthy & delicious meal. Parsley sauce is such a classic pairing, but i’m excited to branch out and get a little more adventurous with salmon because I love it so much. And it doesn’t feed on BOTTOMS (of rivers!!) Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

-Love Sarah