Today’s recipe is by Diane Morgan, author of Salmon … a book recommended highly by The New York Times … and by us!
The original, kitchen-friendly paperback edition of this gorgeous book features ravishing photos and recipes and wonderful insights into the world that some call “Salmon Nation”.
Shaved Fennel, Lemon, and Arugula Salad, with Pan-Seared Salmon
Combined with peppery arugula and a lemon vinaigrette, the pan-seared salmon and fennel make a gorgeous marriage of taste, texture and color.
Suggested wine: domestic sparkling wine or Rhone white
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (fronds reserved)
2 bunches arugula (about 1/2 pound total), stemmed
To make the vinaigrette
In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, sugar, salt, and lots of pepper.
Cover tightly and shake vigorously to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.
To make the salad
Chop the fennel fronds and measure out 1/3 cup. In a large bowl, combine the fennel, 1/4 cup of the fennel fronds (saving the rest for garnish), and the arugula. Toss lightly to mix and set aside.
To prepare the salmon
Season the salmon on all sides with a little salt and pepper. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
Add the salmon (skin side down if you are using skin-on portions), and cook for 3 minutes. Carefully turn the salmon and cook until the fillets are almost opaque throughout, but still very moist (3 to 4 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125º to 130º F).
Transfer to a warm plate and set aside while you toss the salad.
To assemble the meal
Shake the dressing vigorously again and then toss the salad with it. Arrange the salad on 4 dinner plates. Place a salmon fillet in the center, on top of the salad, garnish with the remaining fennel fronds, and serve immediately.