There's nothing like a piece of perfectly cooked salmon with a crispy, crunchy skin, perfectly complemented by a spring veg broth. In the markets and supermarkets these days you can get some fantastic spring vegetables: baby carrots with tops, baby fennel with its herby leaves, baby turnips, peas and broad beans, fine green and yellow French beans, all really colourful and easy to cook with. Here's a nice little combination it's all cooked in the same pot and gives you a lovely broth. The only thing you have to do is control the cooking times by adding the vegetables that need longer in the pot first.
- 1/2 small clove of garlic, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg yolk*
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- About 1/2 pint (285 milliliters) extra-virgin olive oil
- About 1/2 pint (285 milliliters) pint olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon juice, to taste
- 1 1/2 pints (850 milliliters) chicken or vegetable stock, lightly seasoned
- 8 baby bulbs fennel, stalks removed and herby tops reserved
- 4 (6 to 8-ounce) salmon steaks, scored (170 to 225 grams)
- 1 small handful fresh mint leaves, ripped
- 1 small handful fresh basil, leaves picked
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Around 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) green beans, tops removed
- Around 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) podded broad beans
- Around 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) podded peas
First, make the aioli:
Smash up the garlic with 1 teaspoon of salt in a pestle and mortar (if you don't have a pestle and mortar you can very finely chop the garlic). Place the egg yolk and mustard in a bowl and whisk. Then start to add your olive oil bit by bit. Once you've blended in a quarter of the olive oil you can start to add the rest in larger amounts. When you've added it all, you can add the garlic and lemon, to taste, and any extra flavours such as basil, fennel tops, dill, chopped roast nuts. To finish, just season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice.
When you've done that, bring your stock to the boil in a large pan then add your fennel and allow this to boil for 4 minutes while you heat up a non-stick frying pan. Take your salmon steaks and, if you fancy it, you could finely slice a little of your mint and basil and push this into the score marks.
Pat the salmon steaks with a little olive oil, season and place skin-side down in the frying pan. Leave them for 2 minutes to get really crispy then check how they're doing. They'll want around 4 minutes on the skin side and 1 minute on the other. You'll get an idea of how they're cooking, as you'll see the salmon change colour.
When the fennel has had 4 minutes, add the green beans and the broad beans. Give them a further 2 minutes. By this time you will probably want to turn over the salmon steaks for their last minute. Add the peas to the other veg and cook for a final 2 minutes. Don't be tempted to overcook the salmon - remove it from the heat. Divide the vegetables between 4 bowls, rip over the mint and basil, ladle over some of your hot cooking stock and place the salmon on top. Serve with a dollop of aioli, fantastic.
(c) Jamie Oliver 2002
* Raw Egg Warning
Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly cooked eggs due to the slight risk of salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly refrigerated, clean grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell. For recipes that call for eggs that are raw or undercooked when the dish is served, use shell eggs that have been treated to destroy salmonella, by pasteurization or another approved method.