The unmistakable flavours of the two main ingredients make a perfect marriage in this appetising dish.
Cleaner rivers and controls of fishing have meant that wild salmon is gradually returning to Britain's rivers. Farmed salmon is increasing in number too and comes at lower prices than the wild kind.
4 salmon steaks, each weighing about 175 g (6 oz)
2 shallots, skinned and chopped
1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 stalks fresh parsley, crushed
150 ml (1/4 pint) dry white wine
2 egg yolks
100 g (4 oz) butter, softened
salt and pepper
lemon juice, to taste
fresh fennel sprigs, to garnish
1. Place the salmon steaks in a shallow ovenproof dish. Scatter the shallots, fennel, bay leaf and parsley over the top. Pour in the wine, cover tightly and bake at 180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 15 minutes, until fish is tender.
2. Strain off 100 ml (4 fl oz) of the cooking liquor. Turn off oven, re-cover the salmon and keep warm.
3. Boil the strained liquor until reduced to 15 ml (1 tbsp) . Beat the egg yolks together in a medium heatproof bowl, then stir in the reduced liquor and work in half of the butter.
4. Place the bowl over a saucepan of hot water and whisk with a balloon whisk until the butter has melted. Gradually whisk in the remaining butter, whisking well after each addition, to make a thick, fluffy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat.
5. Add 10 ml (2 tsp) of the cooked fennel to the sauce and season to taste, adding a little lemon juice, if necessary.
6. Transfer the salmon to a warmed plate. Spoon the sauce over and garnish with fennel sprigs.