Featuring a whole poached fish as the centrepiece of your dinner table is sure to impress and it's a great way to make throwing a dinner party less stressful since it can be prepared well in advance.
Pour 4 litres (7 pints) of water into a fish kettle or deep roasting tin big enough to hold the salmon.
Place on the hob, across two rings, add the lemon slices, carrots, celery, leek, parsley and thyme, bring to the boil, then lower in the salmon. (If the salmon isn’t fully covered, top up with boiling water.)
Bring back to the boil, cover with a lid and simmer for 3 minutes, then remove the kettle or roasting tin from the heat and set aside to cool for at least 30 minutes or until just firm to touch or 2 hours if you want to serve it cold.
Meanwhile make the mayonnaise, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon zest and a squeeze of juice, tuna and chopped basil leaves or parsley, a little cold water to loosen if it is too thick, season and then set aside.
Once cool, carefully transfer the salmon onto a large serving plate. Peel away and discard the skin and any brown-grey flesh. Serve the salmon cold garnished with lemon wedges, thinly sliced circles of cucumber and watercress sprigs. Serve the tuna mayonnaise with the salmon.
Cook's tip: You can also serve it warm but you must leave it in the poaching water for at least 30 minutes to ensure it is cooked.
See more Salmon recipes
Whole salmon may only be available in limited stores.