Neil Perry's crispy skin salmon and braised beans

Neil Perry
Salmon as it should be: Crispy on the outside, soft and silky on the inside.
Salmon as it should be: Crispy on the outside, soft and silky on the inside. Photo: William Meppem

It's a great time of year to be cooking salmon, and this dish works beautifully on the barbecue.  The yoghurt is also nice with herbs such as coriander, parsley, dill and mint through it, either singularly or all together.

Crispy skin salmon with braised white beans

4 x 180g pieces salmon fillet, skin on

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

extra virgin olive oil, to drizzle

1 lemon, cut into wedges

Braised white beans

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

sea salt and freshly ground pepper


440g tin cooked white beans

400g tin whole roma tomatoes, juices reserved, roughly chopped

3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

Garlic yoghurt

1 cup sheep's milk yoghurt

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated

juice of half a lemon

Serves 4

To prepare the beans, heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan over medium heat and fry the garlic with a pinch of sea salt for about 1 minute. Add the white beans, tomatoes and their reserved juice, and season to taste. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes and fold through the herbs. Check the seasoning.

To make the yoghurt, simply add all ingredients to a bowl and mix. Season to taste.

Scrape the skin of the salmon with the back of a knife moving backwards and forwards to remove most of the moisture, then season with sea salt and drizzle with oil.

Heat a frying pan until smoking, add the salmon, skin side down, and cook for 3 minutes or until the skin is crisp and the fish is cooked about 1/3 of the way through. Turn the fish and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Remove from the pan and rest for 1 minute in a warm place.

Divide the braised white beans among 4 large plates and place the salmon on top, skin side up. Add a dollop of the garlic yoghurt, a squeeze of lemon juice, a sprinkle of sea salt and a grind of pepper to each.


Raspberry and vanilla bavarois

5 egg yolks

200g caster sugar

500ml milk

3 vanilla pods

4 leaves gelatine, soaked in cold water

600ml cream

1 packet sponge fingers

3 punnets raspberries

Serves 8-10

In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and creamy.

Pour milk into a saucepan. Cut the vanilla pods lengthwise, scrape the seeds into the milk, and bring to the boil.

Pour the boiling milk over the egg yolk mixture, whisking all the time. Place the bowl over simmering water (ensuring that it doesn't touch the water) and whisk vigorously for 8-12 minutes until mixture thickens and the whisk leaves a trail as it goes through.

Remove bowl from the heat, stir in the soaked gelatine leaves and set over a bowl of ice.

In another bowl, whip the cream with an electric beater until peaks form. When the bavarois is completely cold and firming up, fold the whipped cream through until completely incorporated.

Line a 20cm spring-form tin with non-stick baking paper and then line with the sponge fingers, cutting them where necessary to cover the whole base. Scatter 1 punnet of raspberries over the base, then pour in the vanilla mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator, sprinkle the remaining 2 punnets of raspberries on top, and chill again. The raspberries will sink into the bavarois a little. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

To serve, dip a knife in hot water and run it around the inside of the tin. Unclip and remove the spring form. Cut into portions and serve as is, or with raspberry coulis, if desired.


• Pitted cherries, strawberries or pieces of peeled peach work well in the bavarois - just be sure to pat the fruit dry with kitchen paper first.

• Purée a punnet of raspberries to make a lovely coulis that can be served with the bavarois.


Grüner veltliner
Lark Hill in the Canberra wine district has established itself as a local pioneer of grüner veltliner, a native Austrian varietal. It's 2013 Biodynamic Grüner Veltiner ($45) is fresh, crisp and dry, with soft melon, citrus and stonefruit notes that perfectly complement the weight of the salmon and beans.

Photography by William Meppem. Styling by Hannah Meppem. Food preparation by Dominic Smith