Salmon with an Apple Glaze, Watercress, Green Apple, Cucumber, Grana Padano Shavings & Croutons
We invited Alex Mackay - cook, teacher, cookery writer - to share his everyday recipes for brunch, lunch and dinner with hero ingredient, Grana Padano.
This recipe was inspired by a Raymond Blanc dish, and he loved my version on an evening in spring. Salmon and apples are a cheerful couple that combine in everything from curry to a dry cure and this dressing takes their relationship to new heights. I boil apple juice to concentrate its flavour and acidity; I then whisk in extra virgin olive oil and the reward is a taste like apple honey, both a luscious coating and tangy dressing for the salmon. Apples and cheese are as happy to be married as strawberries and cream and the watercress gives a little spice to their life. The dressing can be made up to 2 days ahead. The apples can sit in the dressing for up to an hour, they will go brown if they’re left any longer.
Serves 2; Preparation time: 30-40 minutes; Cooking time: 15 minutes; Difficulty: Simple
1. Start with the apple glaze. Get a medium sized saucepan. Add the apple juice. Put the pan onto a high heat. Bring to the boil. Boil until the juice has reduced to 4-5 tbsp, this takes about 10 minutes and the juice should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Watch carefully, if you reduce the juice too far it will caramelise then burn. Pour the reduced juice into a shallow bowl. Whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste.
2. While the juice reduces, prepare the croutons, brush the baguette slices with extra virgin olive oil. Press a tablespoon of grated Grana Padano onto each side. Place in a dry, non-stick pan then fry for 1-2 minutes on each side until golden. Transfer to a heatproof plate then set aside.
3. Next, get a baking tray. Put the salmon on top. Season each filet with salt and pepper. Spoon 1 tsp of apple dressing onto each filet. Brush the dressing into the flesh. Bake for 15 minutes for salmon that is just cooked through.
4. While the salmon bakes, cut the apple in half, (I leave the core in). Slice the apple thinly. Add the slices to the apple dressing. Add 2 tbsp of the sliced basil. Gently turn and coat the apples in the dressing. Cut the cucumber in half lengthways, scoop out the seeds, then cut it into chunky slices on an angle.
5. Serve the salmon with the apple, mangetout, cucumber, Grana Padano shavings and a little watercress. Spoon the apple dressing over everything. Serve the remaining watercress and croutons on the side to soak up any dressing you have left on your plates.
Pre-heat your oven to 120°C, gas mark ½
Rack Position Middle Shelf
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