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Warm salmon, blush orange and fennel salad
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A salad packed with fresh and uplifting flavours, perfect for early spring. Blush oranges – available for just a few months at the start of each year – provide a striking foil to the delicate pink poached fish, but you can use ordinary oranges, too.
about 600g whole Native Hebridean salmon fillet * , descaled and cut into 4 fillets
1½ tsp fennel seeds, ground with a pestle and mortar
6 blush oranges
2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
500ml fresh fish stock
2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and finely sliced (any feathery fronds reserved)
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 echalion shallot, finely sliced
2 tsp white wine vinegar
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
½ x 25g pack mint, leaves picked
½ x 20g pack dill, fronds picked
*(Available at the fish service counter)
1. Season the flesh side of each salmon fillet and sprinkle ¼ tsp ground fennel seeds over each; set aside for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the top and bottom away from each blush orange, then slice off the skin in strips, following the curve of the orange. Over a bowl, segment the fruit, cutting the flesh out from between the membranes. Squeeze any remaining juice from the membranes into the bowl of segments.
2. Put a couple of strips of the orange peel (discard the rest) in a pan or small frying pan that will hold the salmon snugly in a single layer. Add the garlic and stock; bring to the boil. Add the salmon, reduce the heat to just bubbling and poach for 6-8 minutes, until the fish is just opaque. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fillets to a plate and leave to cool slightly, then discard the skin and break the flesh into chunks.
3. Meanwhile, mix the sliced fennel (including any fronds), lemon zest and juice, shallot, vinegar and chilli flakes with the orange segments and juice; season. Add the oil and most of the herbs, then toss together. Divide most of the salad between 4 plates, keeping back a few spoonfuls. Nestle the fish among the orange and fennel, then scatter over the remaining salad and herbs. Add a splash of juice from the bowl, plus a trickle more oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of the remaining ground fennel seeds and serve.
This recipe first appeared in Waitrose & Partners Food, March 2020 issue. Download the Waitrose & Partners Food app for the full issue
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in February 2020.