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Saturday, September 05, 2009

Roast Salmon with Fennel

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Roast salmon with fennel is a lovely recipe I found in Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. I found this book last week at the Oshara village flea market, where my husband and I have been hanging out on Sundays. It's really fun, you should come by. I try not to shop, just browse but I love this lady so I picked up her cookbook. The scone recipe later in the show is also from the Barefoot Contessa This recipe serves about 10-15 people, so have a party!

1 10-pound fresh salmon
5 cups yellow onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 3 pounds)
5 cups fennel bulbs, sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 3 pounds)
1/2 cup good olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Have your fish guy (or monger as she puts it — Ina lives in East Hampton where they have these people) cut the head and tail off the salmon and butterfly it open, removing all the bones. You can just use 2 filets. What you want to end up with is about 7 pounds of salmon. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. That’s right, she said 500 degrees. Sauté the onions and fennel in the olive oil for about 10 minutes on medium high heat. Stir as needed. Then add the fresh thyme leaves, fennel fronds, orange zest, orange juice, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes more. It’s done when the fennel and onions are tender. Adjust salt and pepper. Lay the salmon skin side down on your cutting board and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread fennel filling over half the salmon and fold or put other side on top. Tie the salmon every 2 inches with kitchen twine. Plain dental floss works as well in a pinch. (PLEASE don’t use the mint or cinnamon kind!) Place the baking sheet lined with parchment into the oven for 5 minutes to heat it up. Now carefully transfer the salmon onto the hot sheet pan. Bake for exactly 30 minutes. It's 10 minutes for each inch of fish. Ina swears by this. Allow to cool slightly then remove the strings. To serve, cut into thick slices with a sharp knife. This can be served hot or cold.