Saturday night feast.

A few weeks ago, I attended a small Salmon 2gathering at a neighborhood bookstore for Tara O’Brady of Seven Spoons. I randomly came across Tara’s blog only recently on another site. While I had only known of Tara for a few weeks, I jumped on an opportunity to hear her speak about her newly published cookbook. I was struck by Tara’s eloquence with words, both written and spoken, and captivated by her life stories.

After much anticipation, SalmonI finally broke open her book this past weekend and recreated a few of her recipes. This particular dish was an unexpected find which I instantly knew was worth sharing and would be repeated frequently in my own kitchen. I think I am particularly drawn to this dish because of its simplicity yet fairly luxurious qualities. As a believer in leftovers, I also judge a recipe by how it holds up the next day; it surpassed my expectations, especially served with a large helping of brown rice mixed in.

Slow-Baked Salmon and Butter Beans  (Serves 2-3)
Adapted from Tara O’Brady, Seven Spoons

1 salmon fillet (1 lb), skin on
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large, organic lemon
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, peeled and pressed but left whole
1 branch fresh rosemary, approximately 6 inches long, broken in half
4 small leeks (I used one 1 large leek from Whole Foods), cleaned, trimmed, with white and light green parts sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
¼ cup water
1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 to 1/3 cup crème fraîche

Preheat your oven to 300⁰F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper. Place on the baking sheet skin side down. Thinly slice half the lemon and layer on top of the fish. Bake until the salmon is cooked through in the center of its thickest part, 25-30 minutes.

While the salmon is baking, heat the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary in a large skillet over medium heat. When the rosemary begins to sizzle, remove it and reserve for later. Add the sliced leeks to the pan, the water, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the leeks are soft, approximately 5-8 minutes. Add in the beans gently, and continue to cook for 5 minutes more. Grate a few scrapes of lemon zest into the pan, add a couple squeezes of lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir gently.

Stir lemon juice and zest into the crème fraîche, to taste, and set aside.

Once the salmon is cooked through, remove from the oven. Plate the beans, then slip a thin spatula between the salmon flesh and skin, lift gently, and let the fish break naturally. Place the pieces on top of the beans. Sprinkle the salmon and beans with the reserved rosemary. Serve warm with dollops of crème fraiche scattered on top. Allow the crème fraiche to melt slightly into the beans and serve.

I highly recommend you stop reading and go make this dish, immediately. It is truly worth it.

Thanks for stopping by, L.

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