Whole Poached Salmon With Colourful Roast Root Vegetables

WORDS: Chyka Keebaugh

PHOTOS: Lisa Atkinson

Tell me this meal doesn't look amazing!?

An Australian Christmas is all about seafood and salads, so here is gorgeously baked salmon drizzled in yoghurt dressing and pomegranates, with roast vegetables and a simple salad. A perfect dish for your consideration for Christmas Day! 

When cooking something as large as a whole salmon, be sure to work out how much room you have in your oven so you can accommodate all the roast vegetables too. To make it easy for yourself on Christmas Day, I would make the green salad a day or two beforehand and leave it sit in the fridge, so all you have to do on Christmas Day is worry about the salmon and the veggies.


Whole Poached Salmon with Yoghurt Dressing & Pomegranates


  • 1 x 3kg whole salmon, scaled and gutted (you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
  • 5 ltr good quality fish stock
  • Lemon wheels- for garnish
  • Dill fronds – for garnish
  • 2 pomegranates, seeds only, for garnish


  1. Wash the salmon with cold water and pat dry. Place in a large fish kettle (if you don’t one use a large roasting tray).
  2. Pour the fish stock over the salmon so it is completely covered.  Cover the salmon with the lid of the fish kettle, and place over burners (use two for even heating) or a flat grill. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, then to the very lowest heat and very slowly simmer for 25 - 30 minutes. 
  3. To check the fish, lift up the edges of the kettle carefully and check with a thermometer – it is cooked when it reaches 135 degrees.  Continue to poach if not cooked.  
  4. When cooked, carefully remove the salmon from the kettle and allow to drain and cool a little.
  5. Garnish with lemon wheels and dill fronds
  6. Serve with yoghurt dressing and pomegranate seeds

Yoghurt Dressing::

  • 250g plain Greek yoghurt
  • 50ml lemon juice
  • ¼ bunch chives, finely chopped
  • 1/5 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  1. Whisk together the yoghurt and lemon juice, fold through the herbs and some salt to taste. 


Colourful Roast Root Vegetables


  • 300g Dutch carrots 
  • 300g brussel sprouts
  • 2 bulbs fennel
  • 300g parsnip
  • 300g Japanese pumpkin
  • 300g sweet potato
  • 200g baby turnip
  • 300g baby beetroot
  • 300g chat potatoes
  • Fresh rosemary, thyme and sage
  • 50ml maple syrup

We roast our vegies separately to make sure they are cooked perfectly. You can use the same trays, but separate each vegetable into its type and remember to keep checking. 


  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C, and line your baking trays. 
  2. If the carrots and parsnip are large, half them lengthwise, otherwise leave them whole.  Place on a lined baking tray and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, maple syrup, sage, salt and pepper. Roast for 45 – 60 minutes, until they are golden and crisp. 
  3. Peel and chop the pumpkin, sweet potato, and chats into large chunks and place on a tray. Drizzle with olive oil, some rosemary and salt. Roast for 45 – 60 minutes, until they are golden and crisp. 
  4. Trim the ends off the Brussel sprouts then chop in half, quarter the fennel. Place on a tray and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Roast for 20 -30 minutes until crisp and caramelised. 
  5. Place whole turnips and baby beets on a tray, drizzle with olive oil, some thyme and salt – roast for 45-60 min. until tender. 
  6. Pile all your vegies onto a platter and serve. 


Mixed Green Salad


  • 300g rocket
  • 1 punnet micro mesclun (if you can’t find this at the market, choose a few different micro herbs)
  • ¼ bunch parsley
  • ¼ bunch mint
  • 100ml lemon dressing


  1. Wash the rocket and mesclun and mix together. Add herbs, drizzle over the dressing and toss. 

Lemon dressing Ingredients::

  • 70ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard


  1. Whisk or shake all ingredients together.