Another great Ottolenghi recipe. The story behind this dish is funny. In the film Bridget Jones’ baby, the gorgeous Patrick Dempsey makes dinner for Bridget and calls it Ottolenghi salmon. Apparently, the great chefs at Ottolenghi themselves never heard of it! But, as good sports as they are, they took the recipe up in one of their cooking books.
I did make a bit of a mistake while preparing this dish. As you can see in the picture, my olives are black, not green. But the taste was nice. Lots of flavours going on in your mouth when you take a bite; the sweet raisins, the salty capers, the sharp vinegar, the nutty pinenuts. -enjoy-
4 salmon fillets, skin on and
2 tsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper
4 sticks celery, cut into 1cm dice (180g), leaves removed but kept for garnish
75ml olive oil
30g pine nuts, roughly broken
40g capers, plus 2 tbsp of their brine
10 large green olives, pitted and cut into 1cm dice (40g)
1 good pinch saffron, mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
1½ tsp white-wine vinegar
½ tsp caster sugar
100g currants, soaked in water for 30 minutes
20g parsley, roughly chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and add the diced celery and pine nuts. Fry over a high heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the nuts begin to brown (take care as they can easily burn). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the capers and their brine, the olives, saffron and its water, the vinegar, sugar and a pinch of salt. Drain the currants and add these as well, along with the parsley, zest and garlic, then set aside.
Place a char-grill on a high heat and ventilate your kitchen well.
Mix the salmon fillets in a large bowl with the oil, 1/3rd teaspoon salt and a good grind of black pepper. Once the char-grill is white hot, carefully place the salmon fillets, flesh side down on the grill, at a slight angle. Grill for about 30 seconds and then, using tongs, carefully lift them up and place down again, changing the angle by 90 degrees. Char for another 30 seconds, so that criss cross char marks are formed. Remove from the grill and place on a small parchment-lined baking tray, skin-side down. Place in the oven and cook for another 6 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through.
Arrange the salmon between 4 plates and serve, with the salsa alongside and the reserved celery leaves scattered on top.