Hot-Smoked Salmon on a Warm Bean, Potato, and Olive Salad
Ardtara House Upperlands, County Londonberry, North Ireland
This recipe comes from Beard House chef Patrick McLarnon of Ardtara House in Upperlands, County Londonberry, North Ireland.
- 1/2 pound green beans (preferably French), cooked and cut in half horizontally
- 1 shallot, finely diced
- 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 cups Kalamata olives, pitted
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 medium-sized new potatoes, cooked and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
- 4 sprigs fresh fennel or other garden herbs
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 fresh salmon fillets, 3 ounces each,
- boned and scaled with the skin on (your fishmonger can do this for you)
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked peppercorns
For the salad, put the beans, shallot, tomatoes, capers, and olives into a salad bowl. Slice the potatoes while warm, and add to the rest of the ingredients. Toss together with the olive oil. Add the fresh fennel and other herbs. Adjust the seasoning with a few twists from a pepper mill. There should be enough salt in the capers and olives to flavor the dish.
If a hot-smoke box is available, use beechwood chips with fennel seeds in a 1-to-1 ratio. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Smoke the salmon, skin side up, until firm to the touch (15 to 20 minutes).
The salmon can also be grilled: when the charcoal in the grill is ash-white (at its hottest), sprinkle the fennel seeds through the grates of the grill. Begin by soaking a rag with oil, and wringing it well. With a pair of tongs, oil the grill well before placing the fillets on top of it, skin-side up. Cover the grill to “smoke.” After 2 minutes, move the fillets 45 degrees to the right and place on a different part of the grill to ensure perfect grill marks. Cover again and smoke until the flesh is firm to the touch. Serve each fillet atop 3 to 4 spoonfuls of the salad.