The bloke came back from fishing with three tailor, and a great big Australian salmon. Tailor are one of my very favourite fish. They are listed as sustainable, they’re a good source of Omega 3, and they are such a good eating fish that it is a bit of a pity to do anything more to them than fillet, fry, and serve with lemon wedges and a good salad. And then use the frames for stock for a soup.
Salmon though are another matter. Australian salmon are not a salmon at all, but a sea perch, and though sustainable, they are notoriously not a prized table fish. If fresh caught, bled, skinned, and filleted to remove the dark “blood” meat, the flavour is good – strong but good. The texture is more the problem. They are a bit chewy and soft at the same time. Only one way to honour the life of an Australian salmon by really enjoying eating it! (Actually there’s two – they are really good smoked, but that’s for another day).
This made a big pot of stew that would feed four for dinner easily. We were greedy and ate the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Dice (not too finely)and bring to the boil in a large pot:
- 2 onions
- 1 carrot
- 1 potato
- 2 stalks of celery
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 chilis
- 2 tablespoons of chopped herbs (oregano, marjoram, thyme)
- 10 pitted olives
- 1 cup of white wine
- 600 grams of fresh chopped tomatoes (or a can of tomatoes)
- 1 piece of preserved lemon, finely chopped (or substitute 1 teaspoon of grated lemon rind)
Simmer for 10 minutes or so, until the carrot and potato are just starting to get soft, then add 700 grams of Australian salmon fillets (skinned, white meat only) chopped into large chunks.
Continue simmering for 5 minutes or so, until the salmon is just cooked. Taste and add salt to taste.
Meanwhile, make the dressing.
(Does anyone know what this is called? I’m sure it must be a traditional idea somewhere in the Mediterranean).
In a food processor, blend together:
- 3 big sprigs of parsley, stripped from the stems.
- 1 spring onion, greens and all
- 1 slice of good bread
- juice of a lemon
- pinch of salt
- little swig of good olive oil
Ladle the stew into bowls, sprinkle the dressing on top and serve.