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Sautéed King Salmon With Mint Scented Eggplant Tapenade
By Chef Melissa Perello
Serves 6
Ingredients:
1 large Eggplant; diced into 1/4" cubes
1/2 Med. Yellow Onion; peeled and minced (about 3/4 cup)
1 clove Garlic; minced
20 ea. Large Mint Leaves, finely chopped
6 (5oz) Skinless Filets of King Salmon,
Spanish Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Coarse Salt (Kosher or Sea Salt)
White Pepper & Black Pepper
Preparation: 
1. Preheat oven to 350º.
2. Season diced eggplant with 1 1/2 Tbsp. coarse salt and place in a large colander. Place a large weight over the top of the colander so that it presses the eggplant down, extracting the juices (for instance a mixing bowl with a slightly smaller diameter than your colander, then place some sort of weight in the bowl like a large bag of flour or a couple cans of soup). Place the colander in your sink and let it drain for 20 minutes. Remove the eggplant and spread over a couple layers of paper towel to dry slightly
3. While your eggplant is draining, heat a medium sized pan with 2 Tbls olive oil. Add the minced onion and garlic and sweat on low heat until translucent, about 4-6 minutes.
4. Heat a separate large sauté pan with another 2 Tbls olive oil. When the pan is very hot and just begins to smoke add the eggplant. Briefly sauté until golden brown.
5. Add the sautéed eggplant to the onion garlic mixture, cover with a lid and place pan in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, season salmon filets with salt and pepper. Preheat a large sauté pan with enough canola oil to cover the bottom of your pan. When the pan begins to smoke add your salmon filets. Place them nicest side down in the hot pan, gently .You may only want to sear a few at a time depending on the size of your pan. There should be at least one inch of space between each piece. Then turn the heat on your pan down to low. This will give you a nice even, golden crust. Let the salmon cook on that one side until golden, about 2-5 minutes depending on the thickness. Flip and remove the filet from the pan. Reserve the fish on a plate, and repeat this procedure with the remaining filets. (You could also grill the filets for this recipe, if you find this easie
7. Remove the eggplant pan from the oven. Add the chopped mint and adjust the seasoning to taste; let this mixture cool to room temperature.
8. Finish your salmon in the oven until your desired temperature. Serve together with tapenade and an additional drizzle of EVOO.
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