Charred salmon with fennel & olive salad

Charred salmon with fennel & olive salad

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(3 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 10 mins

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 4

The flavours of the fish work well with the crunch of the aniseedy fennel salad

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Gluten-free
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 2 large fennel bulbs
  • 6 ripe tomatoes
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 100g black olives, pitted
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 600g piece salmon fillet, skin on and scaled (ask your fishmonger to do this)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 x 20g packs flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped

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  1. If you are lucky enough to get a fennel bulb with fronds, pick them off and keep them. Trim the fennel; then, using a mandolin or a very sharp knife, slice it as thinly as possible. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and have a bowl of iced water ready. Tip the fennel into the pan, leave for 30 secs, then lift into the iced water with a slotted spoon.
  2. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Put a sieve over a large bowl and squeeze the seeds and juice from the tomatoes with your hands. Get rid of the seeds but keep the juices ready to make the dressing. Add the lemon zest and juice, olive oil and a good pinch of salt to the tomato juices and stir well. Drain the fennel well and add to the bowl along with the olives, capers and the tomato flesh. Mix well, then set aside.
  3. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut the salmon into 4 fillets, rub well with the vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle or frying pan with an ovenproof handle, then cook the salmon, skin-side down, over a medium heat for 7 mins. There may be some smoke, but what is important is that the salmon is well charred so it has a bitter, crisp bottom and the flesh is sweet, soft and almost translucent inside. Now pop the salmon into the oven, still skin-side down in the pan, then roast for 3 mins until just cooked through.
  4. Roughly chop the parsley and mix through the salad. Serve the salad on plates, then carefully lift the salmon from the pan and sit it on top, skin-side up. Drizzle with a little more extra virgin olive oil and tuck in.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, July 2009

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irritable's picture
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This is another genuine 5 star recipe. I followed the recipe to the letter, except I added cold (but lightly cooked) green beans and peas to the salad and served with new potatoes. The charred salmon flavour worked really well with the fennel. I also liked the salmon cooking method (normally I'd have griddled the flesh side of the salmpn for a few seconds)- but the oven method certainly kept the fish moist.
This is all about the subtle flavours so the only advice I'd give is use the best and freshest salmon and olives you can find.
As not the most filling of dishes, it would work well as the main in a 3 course dinner when entertaining.

toniseckerson's picture
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I was looking for something to make my southern Italian friends who have a very traditional cuisine and I have limited ingredients in Italy. This went down a storm! One of my friends is still talking about it three weeks later ;)

mary-harris's picture

Going to try this with Mackerel or Squid . .

mimi204's picture
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delicious! very flavourful. If you like the strong aniseed flavour of fennel you could eat it raw but the blanching mellows the flavour and little which would otherwise be quite over powering Added broad beans to the salad for extra texture and flavour. Good enough for entertaining but is one of the those recipes whereby the quailty of the ingredients is very much on show.