Listen, I swoon over salmon in restaurants
The chef pan sears her in some perfectly piping fat, to a fiery pink crust,
bakes her to a buttery, slippery center,
broils her, even,
just ‘til her flakes feel melting on my tongue.
But at home, all the salmon I prepare myself is less lovable.
She’s never as tender, not nearly as succulent, far from delicate.
Somehow she’s slightly overcooked, a little tough, verging on chewy, and, quite honestly, a little miffed to be sitting so close to potatoes on my plate.
I found a way to prepare her so that she gently steams, leaving her middle moist and soft, while turning the faintest, rosiest shade of orange. I poach her in a mix of stock and wine, and let her absorb the zing of fresh sliced garlic.
And while the filet is still steaming hot and just barely opaque inside, I smear basil pesto over her and sprinkle salty feta on top just so that it will melt a bit and seep between the cracks of her delicate skin.
It’s the simplest, surest way to keep this deliciously oily fish as silky as she’s meant to be.
Looks gourmet and tastes oh so good.
The Simplest Poached Salmon with Pesto and Feta
- 1 lb salmon filet
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup fresh basil pesto
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Bring the chicken stock and wine to a gentle boil in a large dutch oven (any two inch deep pan with a tight fitting lid).
- Add the salmon filet and lay the garlic slices evenly over the top to coat the fish. Cover with the pan’s lid and let the fish simmer in the hot stock for 7 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when it flakes as you press the flesh with a fork.
- Remove the fish from the pan immediately, discard garlic, and spread evenly with pesto while the fish is still hot. Sprinkle with feta. Serve.