Salmon with Leeks, Peas & Mushrooms

I am so inspired by the book, Cook Beautiful. I read all the negative reviews on amazon but still went ahead and purchased it. Most of the recipes (if not all) are very carefully composed of bright colors and various components that go well together and look pretty with each other. The recipes are mostly very simple to put together but deliver really good flavor (if seasoned right). Most of the ingredients needed are pretty straight forward too but the end result you get is more than the sum of its parts. I noticed (very late, I might add) that there are helpful tips on how to cook/plate beautifully at the bottom of each recipe. Although I didn't follow any of those tips (since I didn't realize they were there!), I plated and cooked how I thought would like nice and it still turned out great!

I highly recommend you give this book a try. I feel like the food coming out from my kitchen as a result of this book has been very beautiful. And delicious to boot! I loved this dish so much that I mentioned to my husband I might make it again and his eyebrows shot up, haha! I rarely make the same thing twice but ohmygosh, this was so simple and so good that I just might.

Recipe adapted from Cook Beautiful, Athena Calderone
Makes 5 servings

Ingredients for:
Dill & Chive Sauce:
1 small bunch dill, leaves and tender stem only
1 bunch chives (or garlic chives)
1 garlic clove
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp water
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp sea salt

Leeks, Peas & Mushrooms:
2 tbsp butter
2 leeks, white and light green portion only, thinly sliced
12 oz mushrooms (I used 8 oz trumpets and 4 oz velvet Pioppinis), sliced thin
2 cups english peas (from about 2 lb fresh in pods or alternately use a 1 lb/450 gm frozen and thawed peas, I used frozen for convenience)
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp lemon juice

1 1/4 lb salmon fillet, cut into 5 portions
1 1/2 tbsp oil
salt and pepper to season
Pea shoots, for garnish (optional)
edible flowers, for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to warm.
Blend everything for the dill chive sauce in a food processor till well blended. Pour the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
Heat butter in a wide oven proof saucepan on medium heat till melted. Add leeks and saute for about 5 minutes till soft but not brown. Add mushrooms, peas, salt and 2 tbsp water and increase heat to high and cook for 2 minutes till the pan gathers steam and then cook on medium for 5 minutes (for a total of 7 minutes) till the mushrooms have become tender and the peas are done. You might need more water if it's drying out. Add it a tbsp at a time. Put the pan in the preheated oven to keep warm. In a wide nonstick pan (I used a greenpan), add oil for the salmon and heat it on medium high heat. Season the skin side of the salmon with salt and the other side with both salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot, sear it on same heat for 3 minutes and turn over the filets and cook for another minute. Immediately remove to a plate. Put a fifth of the dill chive sauce on plate and spread a fifth of the leek mixture on top. Top it with a piece of seared salmon and garnish with pea shoots and edible flowers. Do the same for the rest off the plates. Serve hot and enjoy!


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