As a native Easterner, I love the fact that Seattle is passionate about salmon.
Watching spawning salmon in wild streams is a special weekend outing in autumn. On a hot day in summer you can see these magnificent fish leap at the Ballard locks. Native tribal lore and conservationists’ efforts keep salmon top of mind year-round in the Pacific Northwest.
I particularly love the fact we have five species to appreciate. Soon after moving to Seattle I put King, or Chinook, right at the top of my list. So I was happy to see that Mark Bittman finally got with the program, as my husband would say, and recently declared troll-caught Alaskan king salmon as the king of fish. He offers a simple recipe with few flavors to compete with the richness of the King fillet.
I’ll save Mark’s recipe “Gently Cooked Salmon with Mashed Potatoes” for another day. I perused scores of fish recipes last Friday before settling on a selection from Whole Foods recipes: Saffron-roasted salmon with tomato fennel compote. The salmon in this case was Sockeye salmon, flash frozen at sea. Sockeye is a bit drier and not as rich as King, thus my interest in the compote. Anything with fennel and leeks and capers had to be good. And it was doubly good.
In the future I might dissect this recipe and use the marinade for fish or chicken and prep the compote to accompany risotto, polenta or other fish. This time, the recipe was intact. And with toasted quinoa pilaf and steamed asparagus, the salmon made our meal worthy of a date night at home.
Fish on Friday, I like it.