Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Salmon with Lemon-Pepper Sauce and Watercress-Herb Salad

Everyone in my family enjoys eating salmon, from the picky eater to the gourmet in my family.  Since it is a family favorite (and I live in the Pacific Northwest where wild salmon is abundant) I generally pick up a salmon fillet each time I see it at a reasonable price.  Lately though, I am seeing steelhead trout displayed near the salmon and it is at least $2.00 per pound cheaper.  Even when I look closely for differences between wild steelhead trout and wild salmon, I find few.  In fact, I would not even know the difference between the two in taste, smell, or appearance when raw and/or cooked...the two are that similar. 

For this recipe, I substituted steelhead trout for the salmon.  Use either fish with confidence.  The salad tastes like a spring treat and made me excited for the re-opening of our local farmer's markets.  The fresh herbs and watercress are splashed with a hint of olive oil and lemon juice, all of which beautifully complements the fish.  However, it is the dollop of lemon-pepper creme that adds the extra something to the entire dish where it now stands out as elegant and delectable.  It is simple yet impressive.  In fact, I would say it is easy enough for a satisfying weekday meal, but delicious enough for company.

1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel, divided
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing
2 tablespoons shallots, chopped
6-6oz salmon fillets
1 1/2 cups lightly packed watercress leaves and small sprigs
1/4 cup fresh dill sprigs, chopped
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
Kosher salt
6 lemon wedges (optional garnish)

1.  Whisk together creme fraiche (or sour cream), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel in small bowl.  Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper.  Set aside.

2.  Whisk together honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, shallot, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel in 9 x 13 glass baking dish.  Add salmon fillets.  If salmon has skin, place skin side down and do not turn while marinating.  If salmon does not have skin, turn to coat, and turn 2-3 times while marinating. Cover and chill at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour.

3.  Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.  Line baking sheet with foil and brush with olive oil.  Transfer salmon fillets to rimmed baking sheet and spoon 1 tablespoon marinade over each fillet.  Roast for 14 minutes, or until salmon is just opaque in color and will flake with fork inserted into thickest portion.

4.  Meanwhile, toss watercress leaves and sprigs, dill, tarragon, remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice, and remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in medium bowl.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

5.  To serve, place 1 salmon fillet onto each of 6 plates.  Top with watercress salad and dollop with lemon-pepper cream.  Garnish with lemon wedges if desired and pass additional sauce alongside.

Recipe from epicurious.com
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This recipe is linked to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday


Debbie said...

This really looks good...can't wait to give it a try. I would love for you to join me for What's On the Menu Wednesday whenever you can. Thanks again for sharing.

Four For France said...

Made this for dinner tonight. It was amazing! Thanks for sharing it.