At the end of the week, I desperately needed to replenish my larder at the Fairmount Neghborhood Farmers Market, and the prospects for a satisfying dinner were slim. But I did have a lovely salmon fillet from the Salmon People stored in my freezer. Scrounging in the vegetable bin, I came up with a lemon and a bunch of parsley. I thought I could make these into a sauce to go with the fish. And then it occurred to me that they could also double as flavoring for poaching liquid for the salmon. Poaching salmon keeps it moist and firm, and the end result is incredibly versatile, delicious both warm or chilled.
I reserved the lemon zest and parsley leaves for a delicate pesto, and then heated lemon slices and the parsley stalks in a bath of water. When it was simmering, I slid in the thawed salmon fillet, and poached it for about 10 minutes, until it was just cooked in the center.
For the sauce, I blended together the parsley leaves, lemon zest, and some toasted almonds with olive oil. I served the salmon with Israeli couscous (or "noodle balls" as my kids call them) to soak up the pesto, and some sliced lemon cucumber. A delicious meal, after all.
Poached Salmon with Parsley and Lemon Pesto
1 salmon fillet
1 bunch parsley
1/4 cup almond slivers, toasted
1/4 cup olive oil
1. Zest lemon with a vegetable peeler and reserve, along with parsley leaves. Slice lemon and simmer with parsley stalks in a pan with enough water to cover the salmon fillet. When the water is bubbling, lower heat and slide in salmon. Poach for about 10 minutes, until it is just cooked in the center. Remove from cooking liquid.
2. Combine lemon zest, parsley leaves, almond slivers, olive oil, and a generous sprinkle of salt in a food processor or blender and puree. Serve with poached fish.