Earthy and spicy, this elegant salmon recipe from our partners at True North is the perfect dish to cook up at your next dinner party. Get the recipe after the fold.
Total Recipe Time: 35-70 Minutes
Makes 4 servings
What You’ll Need:
For the Salmon:
4 (7-ounce) pieces True North salmon filet, skin on
1 Box Kosher Salt
Moroccan Spice Mix (recipe to follow)
1 Quart of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Pound of Unsalted butter
Harissa Tomato Sauce (recipe to follow)
Basic Lentils (recipe to follow)
Cilantro Garnish (one bunch)
Heat two sauté pans over high heat. Meanwhile, season the salmon on both sides with salt and the spice mix. You want a light but noticeable coating of the spice.
Add a slick of oil to each pan. Set in the filets, skin side down, and reduce the heat to medium-high. Press down on the fish with your spatula, listening for the sizzle that tells you you’re making a good crust. Add 1 tablespoon butter to each pan, breaking it into smaller pieces so it will melt quickly. Once the butter melts, tilt the pan and baste the fish. Cook for about 4 minutes on the first side. You’ll see the fish cooking from the bottom up. When it is almost cooked through, turn it over and sear the flesh side for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. Let the fish sit for 30 seconds or so. Transfer to paper towels.
For the Moroccan Spice Mix:
4 tablespoons coriander seeds
4 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoon cardamom pods
20 whole cloves
Toast the spices in a small heavy skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant and lightly colored, about 7 minutes. Scrape them out into a bowl and let cool completely. Put the spices in a spice grinder and process into a fine powder.
For the Harissa Tomato Sauce:
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup minced shallots (12 large shallots)
2 tablespoons Harissa (one can plus one jar of sriracha hot sauce)
1 tablespoon Moroccan Spice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar (small bottle)
2 cups chopped tomatoes
Heat a stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat. When the pan’s hot, add the oil and shallots and sauté for 1 minute. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Add the harissa and Moroccan spice and sauté for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring constantly, until the shallots are translucent.
Add the vinegar and stir. It will bubble up and evaporate almost immediately. Stir in the tomatoes and season with salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 5 minutes.
For the Lentils:
1 pound (2 cups) green or brown lentils
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon water
Put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with cold water by at least 2 inches. Season with salt and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are just tender, about 20 minutes. (If your lentils are very old, they will take much longer to cook, sometimes as long as 1 hour. Add boiling water to the pan if you need to, to keep the lentils covered.) Drain the lentils and spread them out on a baking sheet so they cool evenly.
To serve, melt the butter with the water in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the lentils and cook, stirring occasionally, until hot.