Zucchini, Feta, and Mint Salad last week) so, no matter what, I wouldn't need to overcook the fish. Second, I figured the green striping would be quite pretty. Third, I find fish/seafood and seafood with zucchini is a great combination. (Remember those Shrimp and Zucchini Fritters from last month?)
He Needs Food in Sydney. If you haven't visited his blog, do yourself a favor and click the link - stunning photography and recipes, as well as great travel articles!
Salmone al'Arancia - which is cooked en papillote. I didn't think this salmon dish needed that level of individual preparation, but the concept of steam-baking made sense. For the next version, I simply set the wrapped salmon portions on a rimmed baking sheet, brushed them with oil, sprinkled them with pepperberries, and baked them covered with foil. It came out beautifully and looked good, too.
4 skinless salmon fillets, about 4-5 ounces each
4 ounces chèvre, chilled
herbes de Provence
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 medium zucchini, washed
lemon myrtle-infused macadamia nut oil (or olive oil)
8-10 Australian pepperberries (or black peppercorns), crushed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes, or to taste
3 cups strained or crushed tomatoes
salt, to taste
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
10 kalamata olives, chopped or sliced
Wash the salmon well, and make sure all the pin bones have been pulled. Using a very sharp knife, slice a pocket in the side of the salmon fillets, as shown.
Slice the chèvre into 4 equal pieces. Coat both sides of each cheese slice liberally with herbes de Provence, then mold the cheese to fit the slits in the salmon. Before placing cheese in the salmon, sprinkle each piece of cheese with a quarter of the lemon zest. Stuff the cheese into the slits, and set aside.
Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler (I used the latter), make 28-32 thin ribbons of zucchini from the two zucchini; reserve any leftover zucchini pieces for another use. Place 7-8 slices on a cutting board, overlapping them as shown in the photos. Place a stuffed salmon fillet, skinned side up, in the center of the zucchini. Starting at one end, fold the left end up and over, trimming if necessary, then the right side. Press gently; the moisture of the zucchini will act as an adhesive. Repeat with all the zucchini slices, then turn over and place on a lined baking sheet. Brush the zucchini with the lemon myrtle-infused macadamia nut oil (or olive), and season with salt and crushed pepperberries (or black pepper).
After all the fillets have been wrapped and seasoned, cover the baking sheet with foil, being careful not to let it touch the zucchini on top. Set aside in the refrigerator while you make the sauce. (Both can be done several hours ahead of time and kept chilled.)
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, and sauté the shallot until clear. Add the chile flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5-7 minutes until slightly darker and thicker. Season sauce with salt, then strain into a clean saucepan; stir in the butter and set aside. (If you prefer a more rustic sauce, don't bother straining it.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring fish to room temperature while the oven heats. Place the tray of covered fish in the oven and roast for about 15-18 minutes, depending on the thickness of the salmon.
Reheat the sauce and divide among 4 plates, tilting and gently swirling to make a circle. Place salmon on the tomato sauce, garnish with olives, and serve.