Thursday, 9 September 2010

Grilled Salmon with Red Pepper and Green Olive Salsa

The second of two very Ottolenghi-inspired dishes, and the last of my culinary adventures in France, this essentially came about due to the need to use up what I'd bought before heading back to London. Fortunately, the remaining ingredients were all very Mediterranean and worked perfectly together.

The salsa for the salmon is based on an Ottolenghi recipe from the first cookbook. The original called for hazelnuts, which i subsituted for big, peppery green olives. I also threw in a handful of sliced baby pomodorino tomatoes to balance the sharpness of flavours a little.

Ingredients (serves 4):
4 skinless and boneless salmon fillets
2 red peppers
6 tbsp olive oil
12 large green peppery olives
12 baby Pomodorino tomatoes
1 garlic clove
juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar (if needed)
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the salsa, first chargrill the peppers over an open flame. I used a gas hob. If you don't have a gas hob, place them under the grill, turning until the entire pepper is blackened. Place in a plastic bag to sweat and leave to cool. 

Meanwhile, pit and finely slice the olives and then gently fry over a low heat in the olive oil to soften them further. After about five minutes, crush the garlic into the oil, fry for a further minute then add the cider vinegar and lemon juice and zest. Simmer slowly.

While the olives are simmering, peel the peppers (I find it easiest to do this under running water as the charred skin just runs away) then deseed and cut into 5mm dice. Mix with the ingredients then quarter lengthways the baby pomodorino tomatoes. Add these to the pan, season with a little salt and pepper and taste. As the green olives can be quite tart, you may feel you need to add a teaspoon of sugar to temper the flavour slightly. 

Place a griddle pan on the hob at the highest possible heat and then sear the salmon for about three minutes on each side. It should be cooked through, but slightly rare in the middle still. I served this with a woven mat of griddled aubergines and courgettes (alternate same length strips of aubergine and courgette and weave to make a mat. repeat twice, placing the second layer directly on top of the first) on which the salmon was placed. Drizzle with a couple of spoonfuls of salsa and a side of oven baked crushed new potatoes.

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