Kristine Kidd - Fresh Gluten-Free Food
 
 
 
 
 

Salmon with Salsa Verde and Lima Bean Puree

salmon-limapuree.JPGTender, fresh lima beans are available right now at the McGrath Family Farms stand at several farmers’ markets. Because the beans are already removed from their pods, it takes only a few minutes to get them ready to use, and I am having fun fooling around with them. I have braised them with peppers, zucchini, and green beans; tossed them with spaghetti and fresh pesto; created a fresh succotash; and fashioned a hearty soup with the limas, fingerling potatoes, winter squash, and greens.

I discovered that the fresh limas develop a rich, earthy flavor and silky texture when simmered with sautéed shallot or onion and a few herbs until tender, and then left to cool in the salted liquid for at least 20 minutes. The first time I prepared the fresh limas, the process felt a little awkward, because I am accustomed to simply boiling frozen limas in water for about 15 minutes. Now I cook the limas when I get them home from the market, and store them in the refrigerator to use over the next few days.

The same cooking technique works with frozen baby limas. They make a good enough substitute for the fresh, but the taste is a little bland in comparison to the fresh, and the texture slightly soggy. These drawbacks are minimized when the frozen beans are used in flavorful preparations, such as the one I offer here. However, the fresh beans transform simple recipes into memorable dishes I want to come back to over and over.

This week I pureed cooked limas with olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh thyme and mint, and used the puree as a comforting accompaniment to sautéed fish. Because the season for fresh Alaskan salmon is near its end, I want to savor this exceptional fish a few more times before it is gone, and paired it with the beans. The pink flesh of the salmon was beautiful against the pale green lima puree, and the taste of the fish and limas enhanced each other. 

I use wild Alaskan salmon, which is sustainable, and of incomparable quality. I recently found both king salmon and Coho salmon (also called silver salmon). Coho is more economical than the king, and while a little less luxurious in texture, its delicate salmon flavor makes it a favorite. Some say it is perfect for people who are tentative about eating fish.

I encourage you to try these recipes while the fresh limas and fresh Alaskan salmon are available. If you can no longer find salmon, arctic char would make an excellent substitute.

Lima Bean Puree
I present this recipe first, because it is most convenient to prepare it before cooking the fish. The puree makes a great side dish or topping for bruschetta.

Makes about 1¾ cups, or 2 side dish servings 

4½ tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, minced
8-ounces shelled fresh lima beans (about 1½ cups) or frozen
1 thyme sprig
1 mint sprig
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme
½ teaspoon minced fresh mint

Heat 1½ tablespoons of the oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add the beans and herb sprigs and sauté 2 minutes. Add 1½ cups water and bring to a simmer. Simmer slowly until the beans are tender about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and season the liquid with about ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cool the beans at least 20 minutes (preferably 1 hour) in the liquid.

Drain the beans, discarding herb sprigs. Place in the processor with ¼ cup of their cooking liquid and the remaining 3 tablespoons oil. Puree until almost smooth. Add the lemon zest and minced herbs and mix in. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (The puree can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and store in the refrigerator.)

If using as a side dish, warm in a small saucepan. If using as a spread for bruschetta, serve chilled or at room temperature.

Tips

The lima puree is so scrumptious; I suggest making a double batch, and serving the leftover as a marvelous topping for bruschetta.

 

Salmon with Salsa Verde
This would be equally as good with arctic char.

Makes 2 servings, plus leftover salsa verde

Salsa Verde
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small shallot, minced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 Thai chile or small serrano chili, minced with seeds
1 tablespoons minced fresh basil or Italian parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons minced fresh mint
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Salmon
2 6-ounce wild Alaskan salmon filets, with skin
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh mint
Lima Bean Puree (see recipe below)

For the salsa verde: Combine the oil, shallot, lemon juice and zest, chile, and herbs in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the salmon:  Brush the flesh side of the salmon with olive oil. Sprinkle with the lemon zest, thyme, mint, and salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon skin side down. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook without turning until the fish is opaque on top and just cooked through, about 8 minutes.

Spoon the lima bean puree onto two plates. Top with the salmon filets. Spoon some salsa verde over the fish and serve right away.

Leftovers

The salsa verde is good with almost any seafood, and with chicken. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.

Coming tomorrow: Fish and Mashed Potato Cakes

Ingredients for the recipe
1 8-ounce wild salmon filet, cooked with the salmon in the recipe above
Leftover salsa verde
1 small onion
12 ounces russet potatoes
1 lemon 
Herb salad (available at farmers' markets, or packaged at grocery stores) 
1 egg
½ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)


Tags: lima beans , salmon , salsa verde

Categories: Gluten Free, Leftovers, New Finds, Recipes, Seafood, Sunday Suppers, Sustainable Seafood, Vegetables, Weeknight Dinners

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Kristine Kidd
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