Spice-Crusted Salmon with Shaved Beets, Fennel, Lemon and Herbs
2 tablespoons fennel seed
1 tablespoon mustard seed
2 tablespoons coriander seed
1 tablespoon cumin seed
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Place the fennel seed, mustard seed, coriander seed and cumin seed in a small, dry sauté pan over medium heat to carefully toast the spices, approximately 3 minutes or until fragrant. Remove the spices from the pan and let cool. Grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.
2. In a small bowl, combine the toasted spices with the turmeric, cayenne, brown sugar, salt and pepper and stir until thoroughly mixed. Set aside, reserving ¼ cup for the spiced almonds and another ¼ cup for the salmon rub.
2 cups sliced almonds
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup spice rub, see recipe above
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the sliced almonds on a cookie sheet, spread out in a single layer, and toast in the oven until golden brown, approximately 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.
2. Place the honey, water and olive oil in a large sauté pan over low heat just until they melt together and combine, approximately 1 minute. Off the heat, add the toasted almonds to the pan and toss until they are coated with the honey mixture. In a large bowl, combine the almonds with the spice rub and toss until they are evenly coated. Remove the spice-crusted almonds from bowl and lay out on a cookie sheet, in a single layer, to cool. Set aside to be served with fluffy jasmine rice, as an accompaniment to the salmon.
Spiced Salmon with Shaved Beets, Fennel, Lemon and Herbs
1 4-5-pound side of salmon, skin on, pin bones removed*
¼ cup spice rub (recipe above)
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 large beet, peeled, cut in half and sliced paper thin
1 large fennel bulb, cut in quarters and sliced paper thin
½ cup assorted fresh herbs, chopped (we liked the flavor of the fines herbes: parsley, chervil, tarragon and chives plus dill and cilantro for the vibrancy and freshness they bring)
Freshly ground black pepper
Jasmine rice, cooked, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375°. (Note: When roasting, bringing ingredients to be room temperature first ensures even cooking. In this case, we recommend pulling your salmon out of the refrigerator about 1 hour before cooking.) Place the side of salmon in a large baking dish or on a cookie sheet. Brush the surface with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and then sprinkle the spice rub over the surface of the salmon. Roast until the fish is cooked just through, approximately 15-20 minutes. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine the beets, fennel, lemon juice, herbs and the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss to mix. Set aside.
3. If not serving salmon in its baking vessel, use two large spatulas to carefully transfer it to a large serving platter. Pile the shaved vegetable salad across the top of the fish. Serve with jasmine rice stirred with the spiced almonds.
*The tail end of the salmon is substantially thinner, and cooks at a different (faster) rate. We trimmed this off and saved it for a different use.