Delicious warm white beans and fennel are topped with succulent fennel-seed-crusted salmon for a double hit of flavor. For an extra-fresh look, set aside some additional chopped fennel fronds to use as a garnish.
Fennel-Crusted Salmon on White Beans
recipe and image from eatingwell.com
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 bulb fennel, halved, cored and thinly sliced, plus 1 Tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
2 15-ounce cans white beans, rinsed
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup white wine
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 Tablespoon fennel seeds
1 pound salmon fillet, skin removed (see Tip), cut into 2 portions
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add sliced fennel; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir in beans, tomatoes, and wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; stir in chopped fennel fronds, mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, combine fennel seeds and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl; sprinkle evenly on both sides of salmon.
Wipe out the pan. Add the remaining 3 teaspoons oil to the pan and heat over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Add the salmon, skinned-side up, and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the salmon over, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand until the salmon finishes cooking off the heat, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer the salmon to a cutting board and flake with a fork. Serve salmon on top of the warm bean mixture.
Tips & Notes
To skin a salmon fillet: Place it on a clean cutting board, skin-side down. Starting at the tail end, slip the blade of a long knife between the fish flesh and the skin, holding the skin down firmly with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30 degree angle, separating the fillet from the skin without cutting through either.
MF&L Staff at Maine Food & Lifestyle magazine.