Salmon with Spring Vegetables
Wild Pacific chinook, or king, salmon is available from April through October, and is the perfect choice for this dish, especially when paired with fresh vegetables from your garden or local farmers' market.
16 sugar snap peas, trimmed
4 small carrots, peeled, trimmed with 1⁄2" of the stem
left intact, and cut into thirds
2 baby turnips, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1⁄2"-thick
1 cup fresh shelled peas
10 spears asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2" pieces
8 baby artichokes, outer leaves removed and discarded
down to tenderest inner leaves, trimmed, and halved
5 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
12 oz. chanterelles, cleaned and quartered
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Freshly ground black pepper
2 baby leeks, trimmed, cut into 1⁄2"-thick rounds, and
1⁄2 small bulb fennel, trimmed and thinly sliced crosswise
1⁄2 cup crisp white wine, such as Roland Lavantureux
4 6-oz. pieces center-cut fresh salmon, preferably
chinook, or king, salmon
Leaves of 10 sprigs parsley, chopped
4 chives, chopped
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Working in individual batches, blanch vegetables just until tender (snap peas 1–2 minutes, carrots 3–7 minutes, turnips 2–3 minutes, shelled peas 3–4 minutes, asparagus 2–3 minutes, and artichokes 4–6 minutes), transferring vegetables with a large sieve or a spider as done to a large bowl of ice water to stop further cooking and to let them cool. Strain 1 cup of the blanching liquid in a bowl and set aside; discard remaining liquid. Drain vegetables and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 275˚. Melt 1 tbsp. of the butter in 1 tbsp. of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chanterelles and garlic and sauté until soft, 2–3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, transfer to a small bowl, and set aside. Wipe out skillet and return to medium-low heat. Melt 1 tbsp. of the butter in skillet. Add leeks and fennel, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir to coat with the butter. Cover skillet and cook vegetables, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium, add wine and reserved blanching liquid, and simmer, uncovered, until liquid reduces by half, 10–15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put salmon, skin side down, on a sheet pan, rub all over with the remaining 1 tbsp. oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake salmon for 12–15 minutes for medium rare. Just before salmon has finished cooking, add remaining 3 tbsp. butter and reserved vegetables and chanterelles to skillet with leeks and fennel. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and chives and adjust seasonings.
4. Carefully peel off and discard skin from salmon. Divide salmon among four warm plates and spoon vegetables and sauce over fish.