Braised Salmon Mediterranean Style
Recipe courtesy Frederic Van Coppernolle
- 1 medium carrot
- 2 small celery branches
- 2 seedless clementines
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 small onion
- 1 cup water
- 2 clementines, juiced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4 (5-ounce) salmon fillets
- 4 large lettuce leaves
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 12 pitted black olives, sliced
- 1 scallion, sliced
- 4 small bouquets celery leaves
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Prepare the fruit and vegetable garnish. Peel the carrot and slice in thin half moons. Slice the celery branches and peel the clementines and remove as much as the white filaments as possible. Cube the tomato, and peel and thinly slice the onion.
In a medium size pot, add the water, clementine juice, white wine, red wine vinegar and olive oil and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, onions, celery and tomato and salt and pepper (it should taste under-seasoned, as it will go through reduction). Then cover, lower the heat and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes while you prepare the fish.
Remove any dark flesh from the fish if present. Wash the lettuce leaves, remove the hard white part and blanch the lettuce by plunging them in boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds, until it becomes limp and dark green. Remove and refresh immediately in cold water. When cold, drain and squeeze out the excess water.
Then season each piece of salmon individually on both sides, and wrap them neatly in the lettuce leaves so that you get nice small bundles. Place the fish in the braising liquid, on top of the vegetables. The liquid should reach halfway up the sides of the salmon. Lower the heat to very low, cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. (The cooking time depends on your preferences. Some people like their fish slightly underdone in the middle, others like it cooked through. Check the inside of one fish by gently pulling the lettuce aside and separate the flakes of the salmon. The inside color will tell you how done it is. The best is when it is slightly orange inside and pink on the outside)
When the fish is cooked, remove from the pot and reduce the cooking liquid by 1/3 to 1/2, until full-flavored. Add the clementine segments to warm them. Do not allow them to overcook and fall apart. Check the seasoning and add the lemon juice.
Place each piece of fish in a small soup plate. Surround the fish with a nice mix of garnish and cover it with the cooking juice. Decorate with pieces of black olives, sliced scallion, and little celery leaves bouquets. Finally, brush the fish with some olive oil to make it shiny, and serve immediately.
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