Roast Wild Salmon with Summer Leaves, Pea Tendrils, Leaves and Flowers and Preserved Lemon Dressing

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From Rory O’Connell’s book ‘Cook Well, Eat Well’ published by Gill Books. ‘This is a simple dish to cook and serve and has a fresh, summery feel to it’, he says. ‘The cooking time for roasting the salmon is short, as you want the fish to be just cooked through to the centre. The preserved lemon dressing is also great with grilled chicken or even a pork chop. The lettuce leaves wilt slightly on the hot plates and become more like a vegetable than a salad. The pea tendrils, leaves and flowers are optional, but when available are both pretty and delicious. The final addition to the plates of chervil or fennel sprigs adds a delicate aniseed flavour that I love.’

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 x 150g darnes of wild salmon
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
12–16 leaves of green oak leaf
lettuce, washed and dried
12–16 pea tendrils, leaves and flowers (optional)
Chervil or fennel sprigs, to garnish
Flaky sea salt, to serve

Preserved lemon dressing

Preserved lemon (see recipe below), seeds removed and flesh finely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking paper.

2. Mix all the dressing ingredients together, taste and correct the seasoning.

3. Rub the pieces of salmon all over with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on the lined sheet, skin side down, and cook in the oven for 10 minutes, until just cooked through.

4. Place the lettuce on hot plates and put a piece of cooked salmon on each one. Scatter on the pea leaves, flowers and tendrils (if using). Drizzle the dressing over the leaves and fish and garnish with sprigs of chervil or fennel. Add a few flakes of sea salt to each plate and serve immediately

How to make the Rory’s Preserved Lemons in the recipe ingredient list above:

Salty and sour preserved lemons have always beenassociated with the food of North Africa, but
cooks have now realised that the tart flavour of the preserved citrus fruit has a place in many cuisines. There are several ways to make the preserve and I am giving you a recipe for a quick but nonetheless delicious result.

Makes 1 jar

Ingredients

4 lemons
4 tablespoons coarse sea salt
Approx. 150ml sunflower oil

Instructions

1. Use a small sharp knife to make a cut in the lemon skin from top to bottom. Make eight cuts in each lemon. The skin should be pierced but preferably not the soft juicy lemon flesh. Rub some of the salt into the incisions and place the fruit in a saucepan with the remaining salt. Cover with cold water and bring to a simmer. You may need to place a small plate or saucer on top of the= lemons to keep them submerged in the salty water. Simmer very gently for about 1 hour, until the flesh is really tender but not soft and mushy. Remove from the water and allow to cool completely.

2. Cut the lemons in half from top to bottom, scoop out all of the soft flesh and discard it. Place the strips of skin in a clean jar and cover with the sunflower oil. Make sure the lemon is completely submerged in the oil. The lemons can now be stored in the fridge for months.

WHERE TO BUY RORY O’CONNELL’S BOOK ‘COOK WELL EAT WELL’

You can buy Rory’s new book at the Gill Books online bookshop or at any good bookstore throughout Ireland.

CURATE: You can also buy Rory’s book online at Amazon.co.uk.

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