Best of May – Salmon with Capers and Butter
Served with oven roasted potatoes & a little green salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Adapted from Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis
- 1 lemon
- 1 bunch flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
- 1 bunch chives
- 2 pounds waxy potatoes
- 1 bag mixed salad greens (ideally they should include arugula and curly endive)
- Fleur de sel
- One 16-20 oz. salmon fillet, with skin
- One fresh baguette
- Black pepper
- Capers, preserved in salt if possible
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Herbes de Provence
- Red wine vinegar
- Sea salt
- Unsalted butter
- Bread knife
- Chef’s knife
- Heavy skillet
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- Paring knife
- Salad spinner
- Sheet pan
- Small saucepan
- Wooden spoons
- Wine: Sauvignon Blanc (try one from L’Arpent du Vaudours)
- Dessert: Honey Ice Cream with Easy Chocolate Sauce (Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin p. 244 and 238)
- When you walk in the door
- Preheat the oven to 450F
- Get out Pantry Items
- Get out Tools
- Assemble the ingredients
- Rinse and cut the salmon into 4 equal sized pieces and refrigerate
- Open the wine
- Place 2 tbsps. capers in a small bowl and cover them with warm water if they’re preserved in salt. If they’re in brine, simply rinse and drain them.
- Peel and mince 1 clove garlic.
- Peel and cut the potatoes into ½-inch thick slices and scrape each potato slice across its surface with the tines of a fork, to make indentations.
- Set the slices on the sheet pan, scored side up.
- Evenly divide 3 tbsps. butter among the potatoes, setting a nugget atop each slice.
- Sprinkle each slice with sea salt and pepper and a light sprinkle of Herbes de Provence (you’ll use about 3/4 tsp. Herbes de Provence total).
- Start Cooking
- Put the potatoes in the center of the oven and bake until they’re tender and brown on the edges, about 25 minutes.
- While the potatoes are baking, rinse and pat dry the lettuce. Tear it into bite-sized pieces.
- Make the vinaigrette. Put 1 tbsp. vinegar into a bowl. Whisk in the minced garlic, some salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Taste for seasoning.
- Check the potatoes and turn the baking sheet if necessary.
- Rinse and pat dry the parsley. Pluck 1 cup leaves.
- You’ve got some time to set the table and slice the bread.
- Melt 2 tbsps. butter in the small saucepan over low heat.
- Squeeze the lemon through your fingers into a bowl, and measure 3 tbsps. Add the 3 tbsps. lemon juice to the melted butter.
- Melt 1-1/2 teaspoons of butter in the heavy skillet over medium heat.
- Add the salmon, skin-side down. Season it lightly with salt and pepper and when it begins to sizzle, cover the pan.
- Cook the salmon until the skin is deep golden and crisp and the meat is nearly opaque all the way through, about 7 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and leave the salmon in the pan, uncovered, to finish cooking while you finish up.
- Rinse and pat dry the capers, and mince them with the parsley and the chives.
- Remove the potatoes from the oven.
- Add the lettuce to the vinaigrette and toss, toss, toss. Taste for seasoning, adjust.
- Put some salad on each of four plates. Divide the potatoes among the plates.
- Remove the salmon from the pan, slipping the spatula between the meat and the skin. Put the salmon on the plates.
- Sprinkle one-fourth of the caper, parsley and chive mixture over each piece of salmon and drizzle each with the butter and lemon. (The crisp salmon skin is delish – put a piece on each plate, if you think your family or guests will like it).
- Sprinkle the salmon and the potatoes with fleur de sel, and take the plates to the table. Dinner is served. Don’t forget the wine.
- When you walk in the door