Salute the Salad : Poached Salmon, Almond and Grapefruit Couscous

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (May 2016) and taken from “Savour : Salads for all seasons” by Peter Gordon.

For this light, healthy meal, poach the salmon in a pan wide and deep enough to hold the pieces in one layer.  The couscous can also be served with other meats.

Poached salmonServes 2 as a main course

Serve warm or at room temperature

Ingredients :
100g couscous
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely grated (shredded)
1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
2 spring onions
1 small handful of flat-leaf parsley, still on the stalk
1 grapefruit
2 salmon fillets (150-175g each), bones removed but skin left on
3 tblsp flaked almonds, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
1 small handful salad leaves (perhaps use pea shoots)
1 lemon, halved

Step One : Mix the couscous with 100ml of tepid water and 1/4 tsp of salt, and leave for 5 minutes.  Mix in the grated carrot and olive oil and leave for 5 minutes.  Trim both ends from the spring onions.  Thinly slice the green parts and mix into the couscous.  Pick the parsley leaves from their stalks, coarsely shred and add to the couscous.  Put the parsley stalks and spring onion white ends in a separate pan.  Add water to a depth of 4 cm and 1 tsp of salt, bring to the boil then reduce to a rapid simmer.  Peel three strips of rind from the grapefruit, avoiding any white pith, add to this poaching stock as it heats up.

Step Two : Gently lower the salmon pieces into the stock, skin side facing down, and bring back to the boil.  Turn off the heat, put a lid on the pan and leave for 8-10 minutes, by which time it will be cooked (if the salmon is thin, and submerged, leave it for no more than 4-5 minutes).

Step Three : Meanwhile, segment the grapefruit, cutting off the peel and pith.  Cut each segment into three or four pieces and mix into the couscous along with the almonds and any juice you can squeeze from the grapefruit core.

Step Four : To serve, divide the couscous among your plates and sit the salad leaves on top.  Remove the salmon carefully from the poaching liquid and lay on a plate, skin side facing up.  Peel off the skin and carefully scrape away any dark-coloured flesh (and blood line) under the skin using a teaspoon.  Break the salmon into flakes and sit it on top of the couscous.  Tuck in a lemon half and serve.

Salute the Salad : Farro, Herb-baked Tomatoes, Roast Carrots and Parmesan

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (May 2016) and taken from “Savour : Salads for all seasons” by Peter Gordon.

Farro is a grain that has had a lot of attention in recent years.  I enjoy its texture and often use it in salads such as this.  Roast tomatoes are great in summer, when cooking makes them even sweeter.  In cooler months, roasting improves the flavour of hothouse-raised ones.

herb baked tomatoesServes 6 as a starter or side dish

Serve at room temperature

Ingredients :
300g farro, rinsed and drained
1/2 onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
3 tblsp baby capers
2 tblsp red wine vinegar
3 carrots (use orange and purple ones), peeled and tops cut off, halved lengthways
4 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
6 plum tomatoes, halved lengthways
1 tsp roughly chopped oregano
1/2 tsp chopped rosemary
2 handfuls rocket
50g parmesan, shaved with a sharp knife

Step One : Preheat the oven to 170oC / 350oF / Gas mark 4.  Put the farro into a medium pan, cover with 3 cm of cold water and add the onion and bay leaf.  Bring to the boil and put a lid on the pan.  Reduce the heat to a rapid simmer and cook until the grains are tender, about 40 minutes.  Add 1 tsp of flaky salt after 20 minutes.  Drain in a colander, then transfer to a large bowl.  Taste for seasoning and mix in the capers and vinegar.  Leave to cool.

Step Two : While the farro is cooking, lay the carrots in a roasting dish, drizzle on 2 tblsp of the oil and half the thyme, season with salt and pepper and add 2 tblsp of water.  Roast for about 30 minutes; until you can easily insert a sharp knife through them.  Cut each into 5 or 6 pieces.

Step Three : Lay the tomato halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment (to make it easier to clean).  Mix the oregano, rosemary and the remaining thyme and 2 tblsp of oil and drizzle this on the tomatoes.  Sprinkle with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Bake for 40-50 minutes until the tomatoes have shrunk a little and coloured slightly.

Step Four : To serve, toss the rocket loosely through the farro and divide among your plates.  Sit the carrots and tomatoes on top, pour on any roasting juices and then scatter with parmesan shavings.