Clean and gut the fish if necessary, dry carefully. Put a sheet of tinfoil on a large baking sheet, preferably with edges. Place the salmon in the centre of the sheet of tinfoil. Smear butter on both sides and put a few lumps in the centre. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and put a sprig of fennel in the centre if you have it. Be generous with the butter; it will mix with the juices to make a delicious sauce to spoon over your cooked fish. Bring the tinfoil together loosely and seal the edges well.
Serve hot or cold. If you are serving it hot, spoon the juices over each helping, or use the butter and juice to make a Hollandaise-type sauce by whisking the hot melted butter and salmon juice gradually into 2 egg yolks, and add a little lemon juice to taste. If the fish is to be served cold, serve with some freshly made salads and a bowl of home-made mayonnaise. Garnish with parsley and fennel.
© 2001 Darina Allen. All rights reserved.