Poached salmon with salsa verde

I don’t eat enough fish.

I think it is because I don’t cook it enough to be good at it and I find it intimidating. I often order fish in good restaurants and I always enjoy it. Going through the cookbooks yesterday, I came across this recipe and, in this heat wave we are experiencing, I thought this would be a great fail proof recipe and it was. Boy, that sauce was tasty. This dish is apparently served in many trattorie near Bologna so it is time for you to turn your kitchen into an unpretentious Italian restaurant and overdose on omega-3 fatty acids.

For the court bouillon:

1 cup dry white wine
1 leek, cut into chunks
1 carrot, cut into chunks
1 stalk celery, cut into 2.5 cm lengths
1 clove of garlic, chopped
5 sprigs of parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
salt to taste

For the salsa verde:

2 egg yolks, cooked
2 cups loosely packed parsley leaves (not the stalks)
1 anchovy fillet, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
3 gherkins, chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
the juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
salt to taste

1 salmon fillet per person
good finishing olive oil
fleur de sel
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving


1. Fill a large skillet halfway with water and add all the ingredients of the court bouillon. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
2. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
3. During that time, prepare the salsa verde: put all the ingredients for the salsa verde except the lemon juice, salt and oil in the bowl of a food processor and pulse rapidly to get a coarse grind. Don’t over mix: you don’t want a purée. Alternatively, if you are in a Zen mood, chop all ingredients with a sharp knife on a board very finely. Transfer to a bowl.
4. Add the lemon juice, salt and olive oil, mix well and give it a taste. It should be just a bit piquant. Set aside.
5. After the court bouillon has simmered for 30 minutes, add the salmon fillets, cover and simmer for 4 or 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the fillets hang out in the broth for another 5 to 7 minutes. Check for doneness with your finger.
6. When they are done to your liking, take the fillets out of the broth, remove the skin and let them drain for a minute on a paper towel. Place a fillet on a plate, add some good olive oil on the fish and around it, sprinkle with fleur de sel and add two to three tablespoons of salsa verde. Serve with lemon wedges and the accompaniment of your choice.

Serves 4

Use the salsa verde on meat, fish, poultry and vegetables or on a shoe. Seriously, it is that good.

Eat this dish warm or cold. You can refrigerate the salmon in the court bouillon and serve it cold.

Adapted from Biba’s Italy.

Categories: Mains

Tagged as: , , , , ,

8 replies »

  1. I, on the other hand, eat too much fish and I’m always intimidated to try it at any restaurant. Pasta and fish are the two things I don’t eat in restaurants because I feel that it can either go really well or REALLY bad but I prefer to not take the risk.

    I like the look of this salsa verde alot and I’ll let you know when I do try it, thank you!


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