Thursday 19 August 2010

Seared Salmon with Cauliflower Puree and Redcurrant Sauce


I came home from the market with a bag full of treats and a brain that was racing with ideas about what to do with all my lovingly purchased ingredients. Bargainous oxtail and short ribs went straight into the freezer taking with them a meaty portion of my “what to cook” conundrum. I stood looking at my haul playing a mental game of word association, but with food. Then, with a shard of crimson inspiration, things clicked into place.

Redcurrants close

Super fresh redcurrants glowed like rubies, begging to be matched with a fillet of salmon that was so fresh I imagine there’s a fish swimming around with an oblong hole in its side. And with an absence of potatoes, a cauliflower raised a hand and volunteered to fill in. Seared salmon with cauliflower mash and redcurrant sauce may sound like something Alan Partridge may pitch as the name of his new TV show, but I can assure you it is delicious.

Ingredients to serve one (sob sob):

1 salmon fillet with the skin very much still on
Handful of redcurrants
5 cardamom pods
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
Half a head of cauliflower
250ml of milk
2 table spoons of crème fraiche
1 tablespoon of grated horseradish
1 tablespoon of honey
Salt and pepper


Start by making your cauliflower mash. Saute the onion and garlic gently until soft. Don’t let them colour. Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and simmer in the milk. Be careful not to burn the milk. When soft blitz in a blender and then add the crème fraiche. The consistency should be smooth and soft. Season with alacrity and add the grated horseradish if you fancy a bit of warmth.

Add the redcurrants and cardamom to a pan and just cover with water. Boil until the currants of soft and the liquid is red. Pass through a sieve and return to the pan. Add the honey and reduce until it is syrupy. (If you carry on reducing it and then let it cool it will become jelly).

Then season your salmon and sear skin side down to crisp up the skin. Turn it over and barely cook until it is rare. Spoon the cauliflower puree onto a plate and place the salmon on top. Dress with redcurrant sauce and serve.

Salmon with cauliflower puree and redcurrant sauce

I was rather pleased with how it turned out. The earthy flavour of cauliflower was a good foil for the salmon whilst the sweet, sour and aromatic redcurrant sauce added a powerful counterpoint. The blood coloured moat made it look like it had been cooked by Dexter. My favourite part of the dish was the way that everything was so soft except for the lusciously crispy salmon skin which snapped, cracked and crunched in equal measure.

Further reading:

Redcurrant sauce
Cauliflower puree


Manne said...

Absolutely fantastic writing, and what sounds like an excellent recipe suggestion too. :)

// Manne

Hollow Legs said...

gorgeous picture; it sounds awesome.

Jonathan said...

@Manne - Thank you very much Sir.

@Lizzie - Many thanks.


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