Spring at the market captures the essence of green. This week's recipe, the second from Dr. Jeanne Reisman, makes a light green sauce that is perfect over salmon. I pan-roasted the salmon after searing it on top of the stove. If you have the preparation time, this dish is especially good served on a bed of warmed fava beans and morels. When discussing this recipe with another busy person, she asked if this dish is available at Trader Joe's. I doubt it. However, you can make a double recipe of the sauce and freeze half in an ice cube tray for another night.
- 4 salmon fillets
- 1 lb fresh peas shelled, to make one cup
- 1-1/2 cup baby spinach leaves
- 2 Tbsp minced chives
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp chicken broth
- 1/2 Tbsp Champagne vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
Fill a medium mixing bowl with water and ice cubes and set aside. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the peas. When they are almost tender, about 4 minutes, add the spinach and boil just until it wilts. Drain and plunge the peas and spinach into the ice water. This step is important as it preserves the vibrant green color. Place the drained peas and spinach in a food processor or blender. Add the mint and chives and pulse a few times. Then add the olive oil, chicken broth, Champagne vinegar, salt and pepper and purée until smooth. Set aside.
Grill, broil or pan-roast the salmon. (I like to rub the fillets with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper first.) Preheat the oven to 425°. Heat a sauté pan with an ovenproof handle over medium high heat until a drop of water evaporates in a second. Heat a little olive oil. Sear the salmon about 4 minutes on the first side. (Resist the temptation to fiddle with the fillet until the 4-minute mark. It's difficult not to peek at the underside, but it will stick and fall apart unless you wait. This tip also pertains to chicken breasts, scallops, etc.) Cook the fillet about 2 more minutes after turning. Finish the salmon in the oven for 4 to 6 minutes. (I leave a hot pad on the handle after removing it from the oven as a burn prevention reminder.)
Serve the salmon topped with the delicious purée and garnished with some chopped chives or sprigs of fresh chervil.