The inspiration for this dish was provided by Richard McGary’s Salmon Roulade with Cilantro Citrus Pesto on Mango Corn Salsa, but it is quite different. A salmon fillet is butterflied, filled with a basil-lemon pesto, rolled up into a roulade, cooked sous-vide, and cut into slices that are served on haricots verts. Salmon cooked sous-vide to 43C/109F is amazingly velvety, which contrasts nicely with the crispy haricots verts. The round buttery flavor of the salmon is complemented by the fresh taste of the basil-lemon pesto.
Unlike meat, fish is easily overcooked sous-vide. The tricky part about this dish is that if the roulade is too thick, the outside will be overcooked before the center is cooked. The roulade will then fall apart when you take it out of sous-vide, and it will be impossible to slice and serve it. This means that the piece of salmon fillet used for this should not be too large. If you are particularly worried about this or have purchaed a particularly wide piece of salmon fillet, you could even trim the salmon fillet and use the remainder for another dish.
If you do not have sous-vide equipment, you could also prepare this dish in the oven. The salmon will not be as succulent as the sous-vide preparation, but it will still be delicious. Please refer to Richard’s recipe to find out how to cook it in the oven.
It is fine to use good-quality fresh farmed salmon for this. Use wild salmon only if it is fresh and has not been frozen, because wild salmon is dry as it is and freezing makes it even drier.
600 grams (1.3 lbs) skinless salmon fillet, a straight piece cut from halfway between the head and the tail
60 grams (2 oz) fresh basil leaves
20 grams (2 Tbsp) pine nuts
zest and juice of 1 lemon, preferably untreated
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
good-quality extra virgin olive oil
500 grams (1.1 lbs) haricots verts
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Seal the ziploc pouch with as little air as possible by submerging it into water and sealing it when only the zip is still above water. The water displacement will force out the air. You can store it like this in the refrigerator, or go straight on to the next step.
This is best with an elegant dry white wine that has some roundness to go with the buttery salmon as well as some freshness to go with the lemon. We enjoyed it with a Fiano di Avellino, but an unwooded Chardonnay-Semillon or Pinot Grigio would also work.