Pan-fried Salmon Fillets with Basil and Mostarda Mayonnaise


  • 4 pieces of salmon fillet, 5 oz / 140 g each, skinned
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil or butter


  • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ¼ pt / 140 ml preferred oil for mayonnaise
  • lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp mostarda syrup (see p. 176)
  • ½ tsp mustard
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 piece of crystallized fruit in mostarda syrup
  • shredded basil leaves


First make a mayonnaise by gradually whisking the oil into the egg yoke until it thickens and emulsifies. Season with the lemon juice or vinegar, mostarda syrup, mustard, salt and pepper. Chop the crystallized fruit as finely as possible and stir into the mayonnaise together with the basil. Cover, and put in a cool place until ready to serve.

Season the fish, and cook gently in the oil or butter on both sides until done to your liking. The fish can be served hot, but it is, I think, better at room temperature, served on a plate with salad leaves. Serve the mayonnaise separately.


Serve with a tomato vinaigrette, instead of the mayonnaise. Prepare this by mixing 3 peeled, deseeded and finely chopped tomatoes with 2 tablespoons hot sherry vinegar and 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Bring the mixture to the boil, then remove from the heat, allow to cool sightly, and stir in a few shredded basil leaves before serving with the fish.

You could also prepare a cucumber vinaigrette as an alternative to the mayonnaise. Roughly chop a cucumber and put most of it in a pan with ¼ pt / 140 ml fish stock or white wine, a little salt and pepper and some finely chopped fresh tarragon. Simmer for 10 minutes, cool slightly, and blend with the uncooked cucumber and a little more chopped tarragon. Heat this cucumber liquid with 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar and 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil until boiling, and then allow to cool slightly, before adding a little more chopped tarragon and serving with the fish.