Cooking a large piece of salmon feels like a celebratory treat, I like to use a couple of thick 1kg salmon fillets, with the stuffing sandwiched between them for ease of ‘carving’, and I make sure my fishmonger cuts them so they are the same size and fit together neatly. However, you could also adapt this recipe to use a 2kg whole salmon if you like, using the stuffing in the gut cavity – the cooking time should be pretty similar.
You also need baking paper, a whole newspaper and some string to tie it up.
Begin by making the stuffing. You can do this several hours in advance if you want to get ahead.
Set a large frying pan over a high heat, tip in the pine nuts, and let them toast to a golden brown.
Transfer to a bowl and stir through the capers, garlic, parsley, chives and olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
Sprinkle a little salt on the skin side of both salmon filets, rubbing it in well in the cuts through the skin. Rest one of the salmon fillets, skin side down, on a large sheet of baking paper. Spoon the filling on top of the fillet, pressing it down firmly all the way to the edges.
Lay the second fillet, skin side up, over the filling to make a salmon ‘sandwich’. Bring up the sides of the baking paper to wrap and cover the fish completely. Then spread out the newspaper and lift the fish on to it, wrapping it up in a bundle. Use string to tie and secure the newspaper in several places – you might want to enlist a second pair of hands so you can get the knots good and tight.
Now lift the fish parcel and hold it under a gently running cold tap to dampen the newspaper all over. This will create a steamy environment for the fish to cook in.
When you are ready to cook, fire up your barbecue ready for indirect grilling. Rest the fish parcel on the grill bars away from the fire. Insert the Weber Connect probe deep into the centre of the fish and shut the lid. Leave to cook until the internal temperature is 60C. This may take and hour or so, depending on the heat of the barbecue.
Whilst the fish is cooking, make the lemon yogurt dressing by simply mixing together the yogurt, lemon juice and zest and a good seasoning of salt and pepper.
Rest the parcel on a serving platter, then cut through the top of the newspaper and peel back the layers to reveal the fish below. Cut into chunky slices and serve with lemon yogurt on the side.