As well as having one meat-free day each week, Michael and I are also trying to make sure that we eat fish or seafood at least once a week too. In most cases I don’t write up recipes for the fish days of the week as we tend to keep things simple. Indeed, there’s a lot of pleasure to be had from a simple dinner of baked or grilled fish, with potatoes and green vegetables and you don’t need me to suggest ways of doing that. That being said I do try and add in slightly different flavours or techniques from time to time and this recipe for Baked Salmon with Leeks and Bacon is one of them.
In this dish the leeks are gently sautéed in bacon fat to give them a bit more flavour over and above using vegetable oil. Garlic, thyme and vermouth are added for a punch of flavour, along with cherry tomatoes for both flavour and colour. The tender vegetables are used as a base for the fish when it’s roasted in the oven – allowing its juices to mix with the vegetables whilst it steams gently above them.
Here I’ve served it with roasted cubed potatoes and steamed green vegetables – now that summer is on its way why not reflect that in the food you eat?
Baked Salmon with Leeks and Bacon
Sometimes the simple things bring the most pleasure. Here leeks are gently softened in bacon fat, before being topped with salmon fillets and baked in the oven.
- 100 g Bacon Lardons (or diced Pancetta)
- 250 g Leeks washed and sliced
- 50 ml Vermouth or Dry White Wine
- 1 clove Garlic finely chopped
- 2 sprigs Thyme leaves stripped from stems and chopped
- 100 g Cherry Tomatoes halved
- 2 Salmon Fillets 130g-150g each
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Put a deep frying pan over a medium heat, then add the bacon lardons. Allow them to fry for 5-10 minutes until the fat has rendered down and the lardons are crisp. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
Return the pan to the heat then add in the sliced leeks. Stir well to coat with the bacon fat, then lower the heat and cover. Allow the leeks to sauté for 10 minutes or so until softened - stir frequently to stop them sticking to the pan.
When softened, turn the heat up to high then add in the vermouth and stir well to loosen and stuck bits of bacon and leek from the base of the pan. Add the garlic and thyme then fry for a further minute untul fragrant, before adding the tomatoes, covering and cooking for a further 5 minutes.
Spread the leek mixture over the base of a deep roasting tray or ovenproof dish, then lay the salmon fillets on top. Put into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until the fish is cooked through.
When cooked, divide between two plates and serve. I'd recommend some steamed vegetables and potatoes, but it's really up to you.