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Wild Salmon with Minty Pea Purée

Welcome to my Colorado kitchen!

This series features me, Michelle — a writer and soccer mom from the Rocky Mountains — my husband and two kids, some beautiful Vital Choice seafood, and lots of regular home cooking.

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This remarkably easy recipe takes just 20 minutes and is basically “spring on a plate”.

And I didn’t digitally tweak the color of the pea purée — that technicolor green is genuine.

This very light, flavorful dish relies on garden-fresh (or frozen) peas to create a create a vibrant “bed” that accentuates the color and flavor of wild salmon.

The combination of peas, lemon and mint makes a delightfully bright and flavorful base for roasted or grilled salmon.

Make the most of spring produce (or the freezer aisle) and create a meal that’s luscious, big on taste, yet wonderfully light!

My rating: 3 out of 4 stars.

A few notes for the cook
I used a bit of half-and-half to help create a creamy purée.

But it’d be equally delicious made with chicken or vegetable broth.

You could use any kind of wild salmon, but I chose silver (coho), which is a bit leaner than sockeye, keta, or king.

I usually roast silver salmon at a slightly lower temperature for a moister result. However, in this case I set the oven to 350° F, for a firmer texture and greater contrast with the creamy pea purée. Feel free to lower the temperature to 300ºF for a somewhat softer salmon texture.

And, if your salmon portions are skin-on as mine were — all silver and keta salmon from Vital Choice is skin-on, while their sockeye and king portions are available skinless or skin-on. Never fear, you’ll find it easy to slip skin-on salmon portions off their skin after their cooked.

A food processor the ideal tool for creating a pea purée — or, you can use a blender or good, old-fashioned mortar and pestle (the hardest, slowest method).
Yield: Serves 2
Total Time: 25 min
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 15 min
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium shallots, sliced
3 cups fresh or frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons half-and-half (or chicken broth or vegetable broth)
12 to 16 fresh mint leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
1.  Preheat the oven to 350ºF or preheat your grill and cover in place. If using the oven line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  If using frozen peas: place them in a colander, rinse with warm water and set aside to thaw.
3.  Pat the salmon portions dry and place them on the parchment. Drizzle the salmon with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.
4.  Roast the salmon in the oven (or barbecue on a covered grill) for 15 minutes, until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
5.  While the salmon roasts, heat the butter over medium heat in a sauté pan. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
6.  Add the fresh or thawed frozen peas to the shallots and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
7.  Place the peas and shallots in the bowl of a food processor. Add lemon juice, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and half-and-half (or broth) and process until mostly smooth. Add mint leaves and pulse until mint is minced and combined. Season to taste with salt.
8.  Remove salmon skin, if desired. Create a generous bed of minty pea purée on the plates, then top with salmon portions.
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