Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Pan-fried Salmon with Sorrel Sauce

My veg patch is looking a bit sorry for itself at the moment: the peas and broad beans have all been picked, the chilli plants looking a bit sparse due to the lack of actual summer and the beetroot has bolted quite spectacularly (“boltardy” indeed). The sorrel on the other hand is looking incredibly healthy and clearly ripe for a bit of harvesting.

Dark green with leaves resembling a cross between a dock leaf and spinach, it is a perennial herb with a lemony tanginess which comes from a high oxalic acid content. This acidity makes it an excellent companion to oily fish.

The following recipe is adapted from one found in Raymond Blanc’s
online recipe archive.

Salmon with creamy sorrel sauce
Serves 2

10g unsalted butter
2 salmon fillets (try and get wild or organic sustainable salmon such as these), about 130g each
1 pinch salt
1 pinch freshly ground pepper
¼ lemon
Sorrel sauce
5 spring onions, finely chopped
50ml dry white wine
75g sorrel, stalks discarded and leaves roughly torn
50ml creme fraiche
¼ lemon
3 small tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced
pinch salt
pinch freshly ground white pepper
On a high heat, cook down the spring onions with the white wine for about 1 minute.

Add the sorrel, creme fraiche, seasoning and the juice from the quarter lemon. Bring to the boil, stirring and cook for a further minute or so until the sauce has thickened a little. The sorrel will probably turn from a rich green to a sludgy brown green but this is normal.

Add the diced tomatoes then set the sauce aside while you cook the salmon.

Season the salmon fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. On medium heat melt the butter until it is foaming then add the salmon fillets, skinside first and pan fry for 3 minutes before turning and cooking for a further 3 minutes. The cooking time will of course depend on the thickness of the fillets.

Turn off the heat and squeeze a little lemon juice over each fillet.

Reheat the sorrel sauce then divide between each plate, atop a mound of mash with the salmon arranged on top.

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