Bonnie S Benwick
THE WASHINGTON POST – Citrus and salmon are pals that go way back in Recipeland. The cheffy explanation goes something like this: The acidity of your oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit cuts through the fattiness of the fish, and the colours are complementary on the plate.
I locked on to the pairing when Dallas cooking instructor and cookbook author Tina Wasserman shared her Salmon With Pink Peppercorn Citrus Sauce with Washington Post readers in 2009. It’s a recipe that comes as close to perfect and foolproof as it gets, and has served me well at Passover Seders and brunch gatherings every year since.
This dish has fewer moving parts, but the effect is the same: tangy, a little sweet, pretty. The salmon fillets are broiled with the flesh sides down, so their skin crisps up in mere minutes. I’ve found that this method also helps prevent overcooking of the fish. The relish comes together first, though, so its flavours can mingle a bit and the bite of red onion is reduced. But to keep the mint at its best, don’t make the relish too far in advance.
BROILED SALMON WITH MINT RELISH
An easy relish makes just the right complement to the richness of the fish. The dish is good warm or cold. Serve with mashed potatoes or sugar snap peas.
Quarter medium red onion
Handful fresh mint leaves (about quarter ounce)
One large grapefruit, preferably red (may substitute pomelo or sections from two large limes)
One large navel orange
One teaspoon sugar
Quarter to half teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (may substitute piment d’espelette for a fruity, less-intense heat)
Quarter teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
Two six-ounce skin-on salmon fillets, preferably centre-cut
Extra-virgin olive oil
Quarter teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1) Position an oven rack four to six inches from the broiler element; preheat the broiler. Line a quarter-baking sheet with aluminium foil.
2) Meanwhile, mince the red onion and mint leaves, transferring them to a medium bowl. Use a small serrated knife to cut off the bottom and tops of the grapefruit and orange, then cut away all peel and pith from the sides (cutting vertically from top to bottom). Holding the fruit in your hand, cut the segments from between each membrane; the idea is to leave behind all the membrane in one piece, and any white pith. Break up the sections with your fingers, letting them fall into a medium bowl. Then squeeze the membrane’s juices into the bowl, too.
3) Stir in the sugar and crushed red pepper flakes (to taste), to form a juicy relish. Taste and add a pinch of salt, as needed. Let this relish sit while you cook the fish.
4) Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels, especially the skin sides. Use up to a tablespoon of oil to grease both fillets all over, then season them lightly with the salt and pepper. Place them on the baking sheet, skin sides up. Broil for three to five minutes, or to the desired degree of doneness. The fish should be opaque and just barely flaking under the tines of a fork, and the skin should be crisped.
5) Place a salmon fillet on each plate, skin sides up. Spoon generous amounts of the relish atop each one. Serve warm, or at room temperature.
Calories: 390; Total Fat: 16g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Cholesterol: 95mg; Sodium: 220mg; Carbohydrates: 26g; Dietary Fibre: 4g; Sugars: 20g; Protein: 36g.