← Back to Search Results
American, French
Shaved Fennel, Lemon, and Arugula Salad, with Pan-Seared Salmon

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

I’ve paired salmon and fennel several times in this book and there is a reason for it: they make a gorgeous marriage of taste, texture, and color. Here the fennel is thinly sliced, partnered with peppery arugula, and tossed with a lemon vinaigrette. A quickly pan–seared salmon fillet sits on top of a mound of this slawlike salad. A quick garnish with fennel fronds and you have a main-course salad worthy of company, yet simple and easy enough for a family meal.

Yield: SERVES 4

Ingredients

Vinaigrette

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 3 cups thinly sliced fennel bulb (fronds reserved)
  • 2 bunches arugula (about 8 ounces total), stemmed
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each), skin on and scaled, pin bones removed, skin dried by wiping with a knife (see Notes)
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil for sautéing

Directions

TO MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: In a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the extra–virgin olive oil, lemon zest and juice, garlic, sugar, salt, and lots of pepper. (Several good grinds of pepper make the vinaigrette taste robust, a perfect complement to the fennel.) Cover tightly and shake vigorously to blend. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Set aside.

Chop the fennel fronds and measure out 1/3 cup. In a large bowl, combine the fennel, ¼ cup of the fennel fronds (saving the rest for garnish), and the arugula. Toss lightly to mix and set aside.

Season the salmon on all sides with a little salt and pepper. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the salmon, skin side down, and cook until the skin is crisp, about 4 minutes. Carefully turn the salmon and cook until the fillets are almost opaque throughout, but still very moist, or an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 125° to 130°F, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a warm plate and set aside while you toss the salad.

Shake the dressing vigorously again and then toss the salad with it. Arrange the salad on 4 dinner plates. Place a salmon fillet in the center, on top of the salad, garnish with the remaining fennel fronds, and serve immediately.

Notes

Removing Pin Bones

Run your fingertips along the flesh side of the fillet until you feel the pin bones. Using either clean needle-nose pliers (I keep a pair in the kitchen precisely for this use) or fish tweezers, grasp the end of each bone and pull it straight out and away from the flesh to remove it. If you try to pull them upwards or backwards it tends to tear the flesh.

Skin-drying Salmon

I learned about this technique for achieving crisp-skinned salmon several years ago from an article by Thomas Keller (owner of the famed French Laundry restaurant in Yountville, California) in the Los Angeles Times food section. He writes, “The skin of many fish is exquisite, never more so than when it’s crisped to a delicate wafer-thin crunch accompanying the sweet, soft flesh. Crisp fish skin should taste clean and fresh, with the concentrated flavor of the fish itself. Its colors and design are vivid on the plate. the fork clicks on its surface. It cracks brittlely beneath a knife.” The critical technique is to remove as much water as possible from the skin of the fish before cooking it. Keller writes: “Remove some of the water mechanically, by drawing a knife blade back and forth over the fish, the way a wiper blade moves across a windshield. The pressure compresses the skin and squeezes the water to the surface, and the knife blade carries it away. Repeat this until no more water rises to the surface.” Periodically wipe the knife blade clean with a paper towel to remove what looks like grayish scum. Suggested wine: Champagne; domestic sparkling wine; Rhône white


© 2005 Diane Morgan
 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.

543kcal (27%)
138mg (14%)
26mg (44%)
71mcg RAE (2%)
1005mg
76mg
31g
2g
3g
8g
78mg (26%)
860mg (36%)
8g (38%)
43g (66%)
2mg (11%)
 

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.
 

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

new-american-table New American Table
by Marcus Samuelsson
the-asian-grandmothers-cookbook The Asian Grandmothers Cook...
by Patricia Tanumihardja
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson
a-new-way-to-cook A New Way to Cook
by Sally Schneider
baked-explorations Baked Explorations
by Matt Lewis
hot-sour-salty-sweet Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
parents-need-to-eat-too Parents Need to Eat Too
by Debbie Koenig
hudson-valley-mediterranean-the-gigi-good-food-cookbook Hudson Valley Mediterranean...
by Laura Pensiero
ice-creams-and-sorbets-cool-recipes Ice Creams and Sorbets: Coo...
by Lou Seibert Pappas
salmon-a-cookbook Salmon: A Cookbook
by Diane Morgan
arthur-schwartzs-new-york-city-food Arthur Schwartz's New York ...
by Arthur Schwartz
antipasti-fabulous-appetizers-and-small-plates Antipasti: Fabulous Appetiz...
by Joyce Goldstein
Already a member? Sign in here
Close_overlay

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
Spinner
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Close_overlay

Sign in to Cookstr

Keep me logged in
close
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?