Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Green and Yellow Poached Salmon Salad

Last weekend's summery weather called for an easy and light dinner. And the produce selection at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market offered inspiration for a school color salad to celebrate the first football win of the season.

Poaching is a delicious way to prepare salmon on a hot day, to enjoy cold at the center of a salad. For this fresh fillet from the Salmon People, I prepared a bath of simmering salted water flavored with lemon and fennel fronds. Julia Child says the water should just be "shivering" but not bubbling. Then slip the fillet in the bath so that it is submerged and cook until it just becomes opaque and springy to the touch.

I nestled the cooled poached filet alongside yellow and green beans in a mustardy fennel seed vinaigrette and yellow tomatoes with plenty of fresh basil. A delicious summer supper with a crusty loaf of Eugene City Bakery bread.

Green and Yellow Poached Salmon Salad

1 salmon fillet (about 1/2 lb)
1 lemon, sliced
1 handful fennel fronds

1 large handful yellow beans
1 large handful green beans
2 large yellow tomatoes
1 sprig basil
1 handful lettuce leaves

1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, coarsely crushed with a pestle
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Fill a large shallow pan with 3 inches of water. Add the lemon slices and fennel fronds and salt generously. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes to flavor the poaching liquid. Turn the heat down so that the liquid is just shivering and then gently slide in the salmon fillet such that it is submerged. Cook at this very gentle simmer for about 8-10 minutes until the salmon turns opaque and springy, rather than squishy, to the touch. Remove from the liquid and cool. If desired, chill before serving.

2. Prepare the bean salad. Boil a pot of salted water. Trim the bean. Cook until the beans until just tender, about 4 minutes, and run under cold water to halt the cooking process. Prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the mustard, fennel seeds, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Dress the beans with the vinaigrette.

3. Cut the tomatoes into eighths. Toss with a little salt, olive oil, and torn basil leaves. 

4. Arrange washed and torn lettuce leaves around the edges of a platter. Place the poached salmon in the center. Arrange the beans and tomatoes around the edges. Grind on some fresh pepper. Serve with fresh bread. Serves two.

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