4-spice salmon; haricots Jaune, Mexican gherkins, fennel


The very good Melissa Clark salmon recipe I’ve been using lately really needs a few hours of lead time for its marinade to do its job properly, and last night I didn’t have any lead time at all.  I turned instead to a Mark Bittman recipe, ‘Four-Spice Salmon’, which I have found equally good. I’ve used it several times, although not since the beginning of last year. It too involves a ‘rub’, but it’s one which requires no waiting.

  • a 14-ounce fillet of fresh wild Coho salmon from Whole Foods, seasoned with salt and pepper, rubbed with a mixture of ground coriander seeds, ground cloves, ground cumin, and grated nutmeg, sautéed over medium-high heat for a few minutes on each side in an enameled, cast iron pan [a little squeeze of lemon would normally be appropriate here, and maybe a drizzleof good olive oil, but I neglected to do either last night]
  • thin yellow beans (haricots jaune/fagioli gialli) from Norwich Meadows Farm, boiled in a large pot of salted water until barely softened, drained, heated in the same pan to dry, then set aside until warmed up, when the salmon began to cook, in a cast iron pan, with a small amount of  olive oil and some dried ramp blossoms (for a mild, complex, garlic-like effect) from Berried Treasures earlier this year, then seasoned with salt and pepper, and mixed with a handful of ‘Mexican gherkins’, from Norwich Meadows Farm, which had been halved and sautéed in a separate pan until they had barely begun to color on the edges, evrything sprinkled, once on the plates, with fennel flowers from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm
  • a small handful of  ‘the best cherry tomatoes’, from Stokes Farm, halved, sautéed very briefly in olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, a mix of chopped herbs (parsley, lovage, tarragon, savory, thyme, and mint) stirred into the small vintage pyrex pan in which they had been heated
  • a little wild water cress from Max Creek Hatchery, dressed with a good Campania olive oil, maldon salt and ground tellicherry pepper
  • the wine was an Austrian (Kamptal) rosé, Schloss Gobelsburg Schlosskellerei Cistercien Rosé 2015
  • the music was Matthew Locke’s 1675 ‘dramatick opera’, “Psyche’, performed by the New London Consort and the New London Consort Chorus, directed by Philip Pickett