Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Salmon with Watercress-Herb Salad & Lemon Sauce

After all the Christmas indulging, I was ready to eat something a little lighter and healthier for dinner tonight. True, there is crème fraîche in the sauce, but it doesn't take much to finish the dish (especially with the fresh herbs adding so much flavor). I served this once with Leek Soup and it was a great combination. Now I can start planning for all those New Year's indulgences and not feel quite as guilty about it (it's amazing how easily I can do that actually).

Yield: 6 servings

2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
6 6-ounce salmon fillets

Lemon Sauce:
1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
salt and black pepper to taste

Watercress-Herb Salad:
1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) watercress leaves and small sprigs
1/4 cup small fresh dill sprigs
1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper to taste

6 lemon wedges for serving (optional)

1.      Marinade: Whisk honey, olive oil, shallot, lemon juice, and lemon zest in 11” x 7” x 2” glass baking dish. Add salmon fillets and turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 15 minutes and up to 1 hour, turning salmon fillets occasionally.
2.      Lemon Sauce: Whisk crème fraîche, lemon juice, and lemon zest in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
3.      Position rack in top third of oven and preheat to 400° F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and brush with olive oil. Transfer salmon fillets, with some marinade still clinging, to baking sheet. Roast until salmon is just opaque in center, about 14 minutes.
4.      Watercress-Herb Salad:  While salmon cooks, toss watercress, dill, tarragon, lemon juice, and olive oil in medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5.      Assembly: Place 1 salmon fillet on each of 6 plates. Top with watercress salad. Drizzle with lemon sauce and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve, passing additional sauce alongside.

adapted from Jeanne Thiel Kelley, Bon Appétit

on their way into the oven (I only made half the recipe)
watercress, tarragon and dill (it's nice you don't have to chop them up)
ready to dig in

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