Olive-oil poached salmon with olives and raisins
Revered for centuries, its branch a sign of peace, this humble fruit adds zing to many a dish, writes Hilary Biller
- 4 x 125g salmon fillets, skin on
- Olive oil, for poaching
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 onion (or 2 shallots), finely chopped
- 85ml ( cup) Kalamata olives, pitted
- 85ml ( cup) plump sultana raisins
- 1 packet baby spinach
- 45ml (3 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
- 15ml (1 tbsp) runny honey
Poaching salmon in olive oil gives it a tender, silky texture and a pure flavour.
Preheat oven to 220°C. Measure the thickness of the fillets and pour the same depth of oil into a straight-sided sauté pan that holds the fish snugly in a single layer. Heat the oil on the stove on low heat for about 3 minutes. Season the salmon and place in the warm oil in a single layer. Immediately transfer the pan to the oven.
Poach until a few small whitish droplets rise to the surface of the fillet - about 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish. Transfer salmon to a wire rack to drain for a few minutes. (If this sounds too complicated, you can season the fish and heat 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil in a pan till really hot. Sear the fish on both sides and cook for a further 3-6 minutes, depending on how you like it done. Cover with foil and set aside.)
Heat 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil in a pan and fry the onion till just tender. Add the olives and raisins. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted. Divide the mixture between 4 plates and top with the salmon. Add vinegar and honey to the frying pan. Cook over high heat for a minute and spoon over the fish.