Sunday, 5 January 2014

Grilled Salmon with Fennel and Cannellini Mash

This impressive salmon dish with a fennel and white bean mash ticks all the boxes. Quick and easy, affordable, nutritious and suitable to most diets, but most of all, delicious, and just a bit different.

Grilled Salmon with Fennel White Bean Mash
Apart from the price tag, what often frustrates me about restaurant cuisine are chefs' complete neglect for nutritional standards. I'm not talking about low-fat ingredients, which in my opinion often compromise taste and texture, and are proven not to increase weight loss. I'm talking about vegetables. It's almost taboo for any one dish to exceed 1 of your 5-a-day. Despite the technical finesse and exceptional flavour palate exercised by professionals, the square inch on the plate which they assign to vegetables causes me to infer that chefs believe nutrition compromises taste. 

Well, that is simply not true, and won't be happening here any time soon. This grilled salmon recipe is not only contains at least 2 of your 5 a day, but also happens to be gluten-, grain-, lactose- and sugar free. 

Tomato Courgette VinaigretteWhite Bean Mash 

 Liquorice is one of those Marmite-like ingredients; you either love it or hate it. I fall into the latter category, and knowing the anise aroma of fennel, used to steer away from trying fennel in all its forms. Nevertheless, inquisitive as to why fennel was regarded so highly among chefs, I tried it in a dish at Carluccios, where fennel was mashed with potato, capers and a hefty amount of butter, and served as a side for white fish. The small explosions of saltiness biting into the capers, together with the subtle, aromatic anise flavour worked so well in combination with the buttery potatoes and fish that it transformed mash - a cheap and relatively bland offering, into a memorable side dish.

For their nutritional value and their rising popularity as an alternative to potatoes for mash, I use canned cannellini beans here (haricot are also fine). Using canned white beans speeds up the time it takes to make this dish. White beans are such a versatile ingredient, and this mash would work well with other types of meat.
I needed to use up a tired looking zucchini/courgette and some tomatoes, so made a tangy vinaigrette, which is needed to cut through the richness of the salmon.

Grilled Salmon with Fennel Cannellini Bean Mash

You may be looking at the ingredient list and wondering how this recipe could be quick and easy, but I promise you, it is! Most of the ingredients will be lying around in your cupboard. The fennel in the mash really is the star of this dish, so feel free to leave out the olives and capers.

Looking for other quick recipes? My favourite cheesecake recipe requires no baking and uses no gelatin! Or this fried zucchini with a greek garlic yoghurt dip makes a great lunch. Don't forget to leave your comments and questions below!

Grilled Salmon, Fennel and White Bean Mash with a Chunky Tomato and Zucchini Vinaigrette

Serves 6

6 fillets salmon
1tbsp olive oil
Salt & pepper to season

3 cans cannellini beans, drained
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp capers, drained and roughly chopped
A large handful of olives
1 stock cube
2 tbsp butter (optional)

1 clove garlic, crushed
5 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 small zucchini or 1 large, finely chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp white/red wine vinegar
1 tsp chilli sauce

Olive oil, salt & pepper for seasoning

1. Place salmon fillets skin side down on an oiled baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, season well with salt and pepper. Grill for 3-4 minutes on each side until just cooked inside.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small pan, and fry the garlic, fennel and fennel seeds for three minutes. Add the stock cube and a large splash of hot water, cook for five minutes until the fennel has softened and the water has evaporated. Mash or blend this mixture with a hand blender. Add beans and 300ml water, blend again, then mix in the chopped capers, butter and a generous amount of olive oil and seasoning. Place the pan back over the heat and when hot, serve.

3. Vinaigrette: In a medium sized pan, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add garlic, tomatoes, zucchini, one tablespoon of the red wine vinegar and plenty of seasoning. Cook until slightly soft and the juice comes out. Turn off the heat and add stir in the remaining vinegar, lemon juice, chilli sauce, a drizzle of olive oil. Adjust seasoning and serve hot or cold.


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1 comment:

  1. We LOVED this dish!!! Good combination of flavours, textures, visually appealing, and healthy. Can't ask for more, really.


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