11/10/2011

Warm Poached Salmon Salad with Blackberries

The blackberry season is almost over. Up here on higher ground, it has just finished - the very last of those plump, sweet berries are there for the final picking.

But what to put them with?

You could just eat them with some heavy whipped cream, but blackberries work so well with heavier flavoured fish like mackerel or salmon.

I have a good source of wild keta salmon and so, with two of the ingredients present and available I set about making up a real celebration of the last of those wild blackberries.

First, get some bouillon on and the salmon poaching.

Bouillon is a broth made from a simmering of mirepoix, bouquet garni and some bones. Mirepoix? Bouquet garni? Here's a cheat - you can buy powered bouillion which only needs a generous tablespoon in a litre of water. If you wanted to make up your own, it's onion, celery and carrots (the mirepoix), thyme, bay and sage tied together (the bouquet garni), some bones and water - simmer for a few hours to extract all the flavour, freeze excess as appropriate.

I keep both the frozen real stuff in and a pot of the powdered stuff. Tonight, I used the frozen surplus from a previous batch of the proper stuff - nothing is too good for this salmon.

Let the salmon poach on a low heat for a good 10 minutes, more if you're slow at the preparation of the remainder of the dish.

Using a vegetable peeler, shave some strips of carrot and courgette. Put these in a pan to boil for just a couple of minutes. Drain and set out to evaporate the remaining water. Transfer to a mixing bowl with some capers, sliced pickled garlic and some extra virgin olive oil.

Shave some fennel into a frying pan and sauté off in a little butter.

Build the plate ...

In a wide brim bowl, lay out some wild rocket leaves.

Arrange the vegetable strips over the top and spread the caper, pickled garlic and remaining oil over the dish. Splash a few drops of green Tabasco over the salad.

Place some sautéed fennel in the middle of the bowl and lay the poached salmon over.

Drop a good helping of cottage cheese next to the salmon, or soured cream over, and sprinkle chopped herbs over the top. I used flat leaf parsley, but dill would have been better.

Jewel the dish with a few washed wild blackberries.

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