Hot Smoked Cajun Salmon with Pasta, Rocket Pesto & Spring Vegetables

I have found that the combination of hot smoked salmon with a Cajun spices crust is a total delight with this light, Spring vegetable pasta writes Sandra Tate…

Hot smoked salmon, with the minimum of cure time, is a thing of great succulence and beauty, and the smoky flavours of fish and spices is one that you will want to return to again and again.

Curing and Smoking the Salmon

Mix together 30g salt and 20g unrefined sugar in 400ml of water in a snug container, immerse 4 salmon fillets for 20-30 minutes, then rinse and pat completely dry. Set the Bradley Smoker to a cabinet temperature of 75°C/150°F and add oak bisqettes to the stack. Allow the cabinet to reach the required temperature and fill with smoke. Coat the upper surface of the fillets with Cajun Spice mix (available in most supermarkets) to cover, patting down to form a dry crust, transfer to a Bradley wire rack and smoke for 1 hour. Set aside in a warm place.

Hot Smoked Cajun Salmon with Pasta, Rocket Pesto & Spring Vegetables – serves 4

First make a batch of fresh rocket pesto by placing in a small processor 1 clove garlic, crushed; 40g fresh wild rocket leaves; 20g grated Parmesan cheese; 20g almond flakes; 1 tsp salt; a squeeze of lemon juice; a grinding of black pepper and enough olive oil to make a thick paste. Process briefly and store in a screw top jar, with more olive oil to cover the surface, until required. You should have enough for another day – keep in the fridge.

Now heat a large pan of salted water to boiling and add 500g of the pasta of your choice. Follow the packet instructions for cooking time and add a generous cup of defrosted, frozen peas and some tender stem broccoli tops to the pan 2 minutes before the end of cooking time. Drain through a colander, return to the pan and toss with 2-3 tbsp rocket pesto to dress before dividing between warmed pasta bowls. Top each with a fillet of hot smoked Cajun salmon and dress with a few strands of fine julienne of courgette. Serve immediately.

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