SLOW COOKED SALMON + MEYER LEMON RELISH

Both of these wonderful recipes come from Alice Waters' Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook. An extremely low oven along with gentle moisture (provided by a little pan of water at the bottom of the oven) makes for the most tender and succulent fish imaginable! The heavenly Meyer lemon relish is fresh, tangy, and slightly sweet thanks to the the natural sugars in Meyer lemons. I think the relish would be great with all sorts of seafood and its bright flavors make it a perfect companion to the buttery rich slow cooked salmon. Yum!

SALMON:

  • 1 center cut salmon fillet (1.25-1.5 pounds)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

MEYER LEMON RELISH:

  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • sea salt
  • 1 large Meyer lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup, but 1/4 cup seemed like more than enough to me)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Place a baking dish filled half way with water on the lowest rack of your oven, making for a nice moist environment for the salmon to cook.

Lay the intact salmon fillet on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Brush the salmon with a little more olive oil. Salt generously and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Transfer salmon to the warm oven. It should take between 45 minutes to 1 hour for the salmon to cook, depending on the size and thickness of your fillet. You can tell the salmon is done when the fish feels just firm to the touch and the juices are starting to break through the surface. Alice says you can serve the salmon right away or let it rest for up to 3 hours before serving. (Doesn't that sound helpful for a dinner party you want to prep in advance?)

While the salmon is cooking, make your Meyer lemon relish: first, in a small bowl, macerate shallot for 10-15 minutes in vinegar or lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. Next, (leaving the skin on) cut lemon into 8 wedges. Remove seeds and cut out the core. Cut wedges in half again and slice very thin. Add the slivers of lemon to the macerated shallots. Add olive oil, parsley and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

When you're ready to eat, use your hands to break the salmon into chunks and serve with the Meyer lemon relish.

Serves 4


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