Saumon à l’oseille

salmon sorrel3

Thick-cut salmon with sorrel sauce

Salmon with a rich, creamy sorrel sauce is served in bistros throughout France. It’s not difficult to make, especially because the sauce may be prepared in advance.

salmon sorrel2Nothing can match the tangy tartness of fresh sorrel, but if it’s not available where you live baby spinach makes a fine substitute. If using spinach, squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the sauce.

You will need a steamer for this recipe, preferably the kind with a metal basket. If you don’t have a steamer, you can poach the salmon or pan-sear it in olive oil.

2 thick-cut salmon fillets, about 7 ounces (200 grams) each
1 bunch fresh sorrel or baby spinach (about 3 ounces/80 grams before stems are removed)

1/2 cup (10 cl) dry white wine
2 shallots, peeled and minced
3 tbsp. crème fraîche or heavy cream
1 tbsp. butter

salmon sorrel1Ask the fishmonger for thick fillets of salmon with the skin removed. Check the fish when you get home and remove any bones that may remain. (By the way, you can use frozen salmon if fresh is not available — just increase the steaming time by a few minutes.)

Using a paper towel, lightly oil your steamer steamer to make sure the fish doesn’t stick. Place the fish in the basket over cold water. You’ll cook it later.

Now make the sauce. Remove the stems from the sorrel or spinach. Chop roughly. Set aside. Pour the wine into a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the minced shallots. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the sorrel or spinach. Allow to wilt slightly. Add the cream. Stir with a wooden spatula over medium-low heat.

Cut the tablespoon of butter into 4-5 smaller pieces. Add them to the sauce one by one, stirring with the wooden spatula to incorporate each piece before adding the next. This will produce a thick, unctuous sauce. Turn the heat down very low.

Now steam the fish over high heat for 8-10 minutes, until it is just cooked through. Serve at once with the sauce on top. If you’ve made the sauce in advance, reheat it gently just before serving. Serves 2.

salmon sorrel6Quick tip: Place fresh veggies in the steamer with the salmon and you’ll have a ready-made side dish, as shown here — zucchini rounds with a drizzle of olive oil marry delightfully with the fish.


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