Thursday, April 21, 2011

Salmon Poached in Herb Broth

David asked if I would make “the salmon in the broth”…I knew what he meant, I love the dish. You really cannot eat anything that is as tasty and healthy as this in the springtime, a perfect lunch or dinner.  This was the dinner we had after my birthday lunch at Chez Panisse, even Cooper loved it.

This recipe can be altered to fit a pre competition (not less than 6 weeks out for me) or a dieter, or a non dieter, just by not adding the olive oil.

Don’t let this recipe scare you, in fact, I have made this with almost completely different ingredients and it has been wonderful. I have used chervil instead of tarragon, shallots instead of green onions,  fava beans instead of peas, because I believe that cooking is an art, not a science and you shouldn’t worry about measurements or specific ingredients too much!

This is salmon that is poached in an herb broth, served with spring vegetables such as sweet peas, favas or asparagus (I use all!)

For 3

½ bunch tarragon (1 tablespoon chopped and set aside)
½ bunch chives (1 tablespoon chopped and set aside)
1 ½ cups water
½ cup white wine
½ cup parsley leaves
2 medium green onions, white and light green parts cut into thirds
1 celery rib, cut into thirds
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 large thyme sprig
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 ½ by ½ inch strip lemon zest
Kosher salt
3 6 ounce skinless center-cut salmon fillets
½ cup fresh shelled peas (or frozen)
½ cup blanched asparagus, cut into ½ inch pieces
1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil

In a medium saucepan, combine the unchopped tarragon and chives with the water, wine, parsley leaves, green onions, celery, garlic, thyme, coriander seeds, peppercorns, lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to moderate and simmer the broth for 20 minutes.

 Strain the vegetable-herb broth into a very large skillet; discard the solids. 

Bring the vegetable-herb broth to a simmer. Season the salmon with salt and carefully add the fillets to the skillet, skinned side up. Bring the broth back to a simmer. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to moderately low.

Cook the salmon for 3 minutes, then turn the fillets and add the fresh peas. Cover and cook until the peas and asparagus (or favas) are bright green and the salmon is barely cooked through, about 4 minutes.  (Yes I have an extra piece of salmon, it was a funny shaped piece and it was removed very quickly and eaten as a snack!)

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the salmon to shallow bowls and scatter the vegetables on top. Whisk the olive oil into the broth. Pour the broth over the salmon, sprinkle with the chopped tarragon and chives and serve. 

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