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Dinner Tonight: Olive Oil–Poached Salmon

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Though I've covered a simple poached salmon for Dinner Tonight already, I couldn't really resist the idea of replacing the poaching liquid with pure olive oil. What would it do to the flesh? I've seen this technique used in restaurants before, and the process is similar to making a confit, such as duck: a slow poach in fat, resulting in succulence and tenderness. But for fish, which is already tender, it's fast enough for a weeknight dinner instead of a multiple-hour affair.

I adapted the recipe from Joanne Weir's Weir Cooking in the City, where it pairs the salmon with a bounty of vegetables that are emerging in the spring season—asparagus, snap peas, and shelled peas. Tossed with a simple dressing of lemon and thyme, they surround what turned out to be a delicious piece of salmon. It does require a lot of oil, which can be minimized by using a snug pan. Strangely, I saved the oil, and it doesn't taste fishy. Why, I couldn't tell you. But it does make this recipe more economical.

Olive Oil–Poached Salmon

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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