Spring is here, and it’s the time to enjoy ramps, sweet grapes, and lighter food than what we ate all winter. Not just to get into bathing suits (because heaven knows that some of us do that only under extreme duress), but because the sunlight just demands food that can be cooked quickly and doesn’t weigh us down.
Don’t worry…ice cream is VERY light. Especially when topped with whipped cream.
This recipe was invented when my dad was craving salmon one night. My mom was craving chicken piccata and – boom. The lovechild of the two dishes came to be. Less work (since there is no pounding required), lighter, and more acidic than chicken piccata, this salmon picatta is just the thing for a warm summer lunch or dinner.
1/2 lb salmon, skinned and filleted
2 cups white wine
juice of 3 lemons
1 cup seafood stock (or water)
1/4 cup capers
1 shallot, diced
1/2 cup flour
3 tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Saute the shallot in the olive oil in a pan over medium heat until the shallot is translucent, about 7 minutes. While that happens,
2. Cut your salmon into 2 inch long pieces and cover them in flour. They should look almost like fish fingers.
3. When the shallots are translucent, put the fish into the hot oil. Leave them for about a minute and a half,
then flip them when they have a light crust. The point isn’t really to cook it there, just to give it a crust. Let it cook for another minute on the other side.
4. Add the white wine and stock – be prepared for the pan to steam drastically when you add the liquids.
5. Add the capers, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Turn the heat down to medium and let it cook for 5 minutes, or until the biggest piece of salmon flakes easily with a fork.
6. Remove the salmon from the pan and save it on a plate. This is so the salmon doesn’t overcook.
7. Let the sauce reduce for about 10 minutes to thicken. You can always add a pat of butter to make the sauce a bit thicker, but this tempers the acidity of the dish. Be sure to taste the dish here for more salt or pepper.
Salty, acidic, pungent. This is for someone who loves strong flavors. The salmon is very mild, with a light crunch form the quick saute action. It’s just incredibly clean and fresh – perfect for summer with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. It is light, it is fresh, and it is delicious with rice, pasta or mashed potatoes.
And don’t worry, this still leaves plenty of room for an ice cream sundae.