Salmon with Punched Potatoes and Lemon Oil

Simple and delicious are the first two words that spring to mind with this recipe. Simple, it didn’t stretch my ability or patience levels in any way. Delicious, because it was! I love salmon anyway, but the sharp, sweet lemon oil is just perfect alongside both the fish and the potatoes. As far as the potatoes go, I have no idea why they are ‘punched’, but the Portuguese have being doing it for years so who am I to argue? It’s a great, refreshing dish for any day of the week – give it a go.

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2)
2 x salmon fillets (skin on)
1/4 cup olive oil
250g small waxy potatoes (kipfler etc) (skin on)
salt & pepper
fresh herbs such as parsley, lemon thyme, celery leaves, chervil or tarragon (optional)

Lemon oil:
30g unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1/2 cup mild olive oil
pinch chilli flakes
pinch sweet paprika
pinch sugar
pinch salt
1/2 tablespoon tomato puree
1 lemon (juice of)

To make the lemon oil: Heat the butter in a small saucepan until just bubbling. Add the garlic, paprika, tomato puree and chilli flakes and fry gently for 2 minutes until just browning. Remove from the heat and add the oil, lemon juice, sugar and salt and leave for 15 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and discard the solids.

Pour 3 tablespoons of the oil over the salmon fillets and leave for 20 minutes.

Cook the potatoes whole until soft. Drain and keep warm.

To cook the salmon, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a moderate/high heat and fry the salmon firstly for 4 minutes on the skin side then for 3 on the other (depending on thickness). Leave to rest for 2 minutes then serve.

Take the hot potatoes and with the palm of your hand gently “punch” them to flatten slightly. Place on the plate then drizzle over a tablespoon or so of the lemon oil. Plave the fish on top then drizzle a little more of the oil on top. Season with salt & pepper, sprinkle with a few fresh herbs then serve immediately alongside some steamed vegetables.

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