Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fennel Pollen Salmon and Roasted Fennel Bulbs

Paxton and Jake with their catch. Photo credit: Captain Dan Wood
When Jake called to check the schedule because he wanted to head out with two of our friends the next morning, there was no hesitation in my mind: fresh salmon?! Yep. Go. Catch your limit, my love!

I packed granola bars, string cheese, beef jerky, fruits, and made some mini rhubarb loaves and sent him off - at an ungodly hour - with a good luck kiss.

Photo credit: Paxton Mobley

I didn't hear anything from them for a long time. Finally I got a text: "two fish in the boat." Sweet!

Then I mentally prepared to clean the fish. It's not that I mind cleaning the fish; it's the lingering smell on my hands that I mind. But - to my surprise and delight - when I got home, the fish was there, in the fridge, cleaned, gutted, sliced into steaks and fileted. Gotta love that.

There is nothing quite like fresh fish. And knowing that Jake reeled this 16-pounder in made it even better. No, in all seriousness, we eat "fresh fish" all the time. Living on the coast, with access to fish markets year-round that carry whatever is in season, you would think that we would be spoiled. And, I suppose, we are. But this salmon was probably the freshest I've ever had...on the line and in my oven in less than a couple of hours.


I kept the preparation simple...

I rubbed the steaks and filets with minced garlic, sprinkled them with freshly ground pink Himalaya salt, freshly ground flower pepper, fennel pollen, then I drizzled them with olive oil and a splash of soy sauce.

To complement the fennel pollen, I cut two fresh fennel bulbs from Belle's garden into wedges, placed them in the roasting pan along with the salmon, sprinkled them with freshly ground pink Himalaya salt, and drizzled them with olive oil.

Then I roasted it all in a 350 degree oven until the fish was opaque and bounced back when I touched it. I know that's very imprecise. Sorry. I didn't time it but would guess that it took between 30 and 45 minutes.

Photo credit: Paxton Mobley
And that was dinner: fennel pollen salmon, roasted fennel bulbs, and a quick salad topped with blackberries and asiago cheese.

Dan, thanks for taking them out on the boat.

Paxton, thanks for the great photos and video. I loved the Pacific white-side dolphins surfing alongside you guys.

And, Jake, my love, thanks for coming from a long line of Portuguese fisherman and bringing home the best salmon I've ever had because everyone knows I certainly didn't retain any of my Filipino fisherman roots! I do think that the fish hat helped a little. I can't wait for your grilled version tonight.

I am sharing this recipe with Beyond the Peel's Whole Food Wednesday, a weekly celebration of real food. Gotta love that!



PhotobucketI am also sharing this with Rook No. 17 and her readers.

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