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Riesling-Poached Salmon with Spring Greens and Lemon-Caper Vinaigrette

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 08:37PM
Posted by Registered CommenterTselani

Each Spring, an extraordinary thing happens in the Northwest – Spring-run Chinook Salmon appears in grocery stores.  With its bright red-pink flesh and mild yet sweet flavor, it’s perfect for the lighter fare of Spring.  If you can’t find Spring-run Chinook for this recipe, any type of salmon will work well.  Riesling may seem like an unusual choice for poaching the fish, but the sugars in the wine impart the slightest hint of sweetness in the fish, thus enhancing its flavor.  My favorite thing about this recipe is that it comes together in under an hour and features fresh ingredients. 

Serves 4 

Fish
1 lb fresh salmon filet, cut into four pieces
4 c Riesling
1 c water
1 carrot
1 leek
1 celery stick
2 bay leaves
1 T peppercorns

Salad
8 c mixed Spring greens
½ bulb fennel, thinly sliced
½ c Evergreen Orchards dry roasted Hazelnuts

Vinaigrette
½ c olive oil
¼ c fresh lemon juice
½ t sugar
Zest of one lemon
2 T capers
2 T crème fraiche or sour cream
Salt and pepper

In a sauté pan with three inch sides, pour in wine and water.  Coarsely chop carrot, leek and celery and add to pan with bay leaves and peppercorns.  Cover and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  When liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and strain out vegetables and spices.  Return the liquid to the pan and bring it to a simmer over medium heat.  Add the salmon filets skin side down, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 12 – 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filets.  Filets are done when they flake easily apart with a fork.  Lift the filets out of the liquid and remove the skin.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

To make the vinaigrette, wisk the oil and the lemon juice in a small bowl.  Mix in the sugar, zest, capers and crème fraiche.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium bowl, mix the greens and fennel.  Drizzle ¼ c of the dressing over the greens and toss to coat.  Mound the green on each plate, and place a salmon filet on top.  Sprinkle the hazelnuts around each salad and drizzle some of the dressing on top of the fish.  Pass extra dressing at the table.

Note:  When making this recipe again and you don’t have dry roasted hazelnuts, do the following.  While the salmon is cooking, place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in a preheated 450 degree oven for ten minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven, and place the hazelnuts in a dish towel.  Rub the nuts with the dish towel until they release their skins.  Set aside.

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