This dish is the cover photo for my second cookbook; In the Kitchen with Michael Salmon. Here, I have transformed the popular Niçoise salad into a warm ”Maine-inspired” dish with Maine Atlantic salmon, purple Maine potatoes and fiddlehead ferns. Spring in Maine would not be complete without the first wild vegetable harvest of the season. Fiddleheads are the top part of immature fronds from the ostrich fern. They are found in early May in the wet lowlands of Maine particularly near shaded rivers and creeks. The flavor of fiddleheads is similar to that of asparagus and they are cooked in a similar manner.
Grilled Salmon NiçoiseCourse: EntreeCuisine: New EnglandDifficulty: Easy
6 plum tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 pound small potatoes (Yukon gold, purple Peruvian, small reds, etc.)
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1/2 pound haricot verts (thin French green beans) — or use fiddlehead ferns
4 six-ounce salmon fillets, boneless and skinless
4 eggs, hard boiled and cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup olives (niçoise or kalamata), pitted and halved
Whole Grain Mustard Dressing (recipe below)
4 sprigs fresh tarragon for garnish
- Whole Grain Mustard Dressing
2 Tablespoons whole grain mustard
2 Tablespoons white wine
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 Tablespoon capers, lightly chopped
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon each herb (chives, tarragon, Italian parsley), coarsely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the paper with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil.
- Core and cut the plum tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them cut side up on the baking sheet. Drizzle the tomatoes with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle the tomatoes with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours.
- Place the small potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water and 1 Tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove immediately from the hot water and cool slightly. Cut the potatoes in half or quarters, depending on their size (you want bite-sized pieces) and place in an ovenproof pan or baking sheet. Drizzle the potatoes with 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and the rosemary. Roast in the 375-degree oven for 20 minutes.
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil with 1 Tablespoon salt. At a boil add the haricot verts and blanch for 1 minute. Remove immediately to an ice bath to cool.
- Heat a grill pan over high heat. Lightly coat the salmon fillets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon for 3 minutes on each side (depending on the thickness of the fillets) or until it is barely cooked through. Don’t overcook the salmon or it will dry out.
- Heat the haricot verts in a small sauté pan with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- To serve, place a mound of potatoes in the center of each plate. Top the potatoes with the haricot verts and the grilled salmon fillet. Place 3 roasted tomato halves and 2 egg halves around the salmon and sprinkle with some of the halved olives. Ladle the warm dressing over the salmon and garnish with a sprig of fresh tarragon.
- Whole Grain Mustard Dressing
- Place all of the ingredients (except the fresh herbs) in a small saucepan and heat up to a simmer, just before serving.
- Stir in the fresh herbs and serve.