This is a beautiful dish that bridges any season and palate. The light flavor of the broth beautifully envelopes and cooks the Verlasso salmon to perfection while preserving its delicate flavor. The addition of fresh seasonal herbs or even arugula would continue to enhance this dish while giving it a flourish of seasonality based upon the time of year that you make it.
- 4 eight ounce center cut Verlasso salmon portions, skin on
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons slivered garlic
- 2 tablespoons chopped shallots or green onions
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1-1/4 pounds fresh mussels, beards removed if evident
- 3/4 cup or so crème fraiche
- Big pinch or two of smoked paprika, optional
- 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
For the Salmon
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Season the salmon generously with salt and pepper and dust lightly with flour.
- In an oven safe skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil with the butter over moderately high heat. Add the salmon and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn salmon over and transfer to the oven and roast for another 4-5 minutes or until salmon is just done and still lightly pink in the center. Transfer to warm shallow bowls.
For the Mussels & Sauce
- In a deep saucepan, add the remaining olive oil and over moderately high heat cook the garlic, shallots and fennel seed until vegetables are just beginning to soften, about 1 minute.
- Add the wine and mussels, turn the heat to high, cover and cook until mussels have opened, about 4 minutes.
- Remove mussels, discarding any that haven't opened. Remove mussels from shell, discard shell and set mussel meat aside.
- Add crème fraiche to saucepan and bring to a simmer. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sprinkling of smoked paprika if using. Add mussel meat back to pan along with parsley. Spoon mixture around salmon in bowls and serve immediately.