It’s a great feeling when you’re messing around with a handful of pantry staples and happen upon an impromptu dressing that is so good you want to spoon it into your mouth, by itself, sans the salmon fillet for which it was intended.
The mellow, faintly caramelized sweetness of the shallots and green onions, sauteed just long enough to relax, coupled with the pungent pucker of the lemon, capers and mustard, whisked together in a bath of fruity olive oil, blend beautifully and are a great, simple accompaniment to salmon. Every ingredient is a classic one, all obvious choices for any number of simple dressings – this was a synthesis of a few of those. And it was a team effort to boot. Three cheers for a Friday night supper that almost made itself.
SEARED SALMON WITH SHALLOT + GREEN ONION RELISH
Yield: 2 larger or 4 small servings
1 pound wild salmon fillet
1 cup chopped green onions
2/3 cup diced shallots
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped, drained capers
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a medium-sized skillet over a medium-low flame, saute the shallots and green onions until soft, about 7 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, capers and mustard with the green onions and shallots. Add the salt and pepper and mix to combine. Set aside.
Meanwhile, pat salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. Lightly sprinkle each side with salt. Heat a large skillet over a high flame. When the pan is hot, coat with a thin film of oil. Place salmon, skin side down, into the hot pan, and leave undisturbed for three minutes. Flip the salmon and leave undisturbed for another three minutes, ensuring a nice crust. Remove from heat.
Top each fillet with a generous spoon of the relish. Garnish with fresh slices of green onion, if desired. Serve immediately.