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Recipe: Salmon and spring greens in caper dressing

When I shared a photo of my fish dinner last week it inspired some really nice comments on Instagram and Twitter. Some good people I know wanted me to share the recipe, which filled me with food blogger pride but it also horrified me somewhat because I knew I was about to be outed. The ‘deelish’-looking caper dressing on my salmon, you see, is in fact made from a base of none other than Hellman’s mayonnaise. I know! How dare I proclaim to be a decent cook when I am prepared to use jars of oily convenience foods in my sauces? In an attempt to redeem myself I cooked the dish again on Sunday night, this time using crème fraîche in place of mayo, but Keane said that he prefers the original. I admit, using mayonnaise gives the sauce a slightly richer more luxurious flavour than soured cream, which still works well with salmon, but is sharper, so you need less lemon juice. Whichever way you choose to cook it, I think this is a super dish to make for a midweek dinner; it requires little prep, is reasonably healthy and tastes a treat.

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Salmon and spring greens in caper dressing with sautéed potatoes

I recommend putting in the effort to sauté your own spuds to serve with this dish as there is no real substitute for a freshly fried potato. It takes a little time but the potatoes require little attention so you can easily catch up on Twitter while they cook away. I would also add that for this dish it is essential that you fry the salmon in butter, as the resulting ‘beurre noisette’ from cooking the salmon is what gives the sauce its flavour.

Serves 2

2 salmon fillets
Unsalted butter for frying
1 tbsp capers
2 rounded tbsp mayonnaise
Juice 1/2 lemon
Black pepper

2-3 handfuls spring greens
3-4 potatoes, skin on, cubed
Sunflower oil
Salt and pepper

First of all, dry the cubed potatoes on a clean tea towel or kitchen paper and heat a little sunflower oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a low-medium heat. My frying pan is pretty sticky, but I find that by drying the potatoes thoroughly before cooking I avoid gluing them to the pan and therefore losing all the tasty, brown crispy bits.

Add the potatoes to the hot pan, season well with salt and pepper and turn to coat in the hot oil. Sauté gently for 25-30 minutes, turning occasionally, until the potatoes are browned and cooked through. Cooked this way from raw, the potatoes retain some bite.

While the potatoes are cooking, dry the salmon fillets on a little kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper. Put the mayonnaise into a small bowl and add to it half the capers, about a tablespoon of lemon juice, some black pepper and stir to combine. Taste.

When the potatoes have about 5-8 minutes left of cooking time, add the spring greens to the pan and melt the butter over a low heat in a separate, small frying pan. I like to use my long-handled omelette pan for cooking fish.

As soon as the butter is melted and bubbling, add the fillets skin-side down and fry undisturbed for about 3-4 minutes until the skin is crisp. Turn the salmon and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the soft side until the salmon is just cooked.

Remove the salmon to a warm plate to rest and quickly add the capers and a squirt of lemon juice to the pan with the butter. Cook for a few seconds and then pour the resulting liquid over the cooked fish.

Pile the cooked potatoes and greens onto warm plates and place the fish on top. Pour any remaining cooking juices into the creamy caper and lemon mayonnaise, stir well and taste to check seasoning before spooning a good dollop of it over the fish. Deelish!

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About Chloe King

I'm a freelance writer, designer and webby type. I live with my husband and daughter in the south of England. I like to cook and can throw a good party.

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One comment

  1. February 5, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    Deelish! Thanks for sharing, will definitely try. xo

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