This recipe is a combination of a fantastic salad from Canton Arms, a gastropub in London, and a recipe I read in a French food magazine on an airplane. A great reminder that just when you can't imagine what's for dinner, inspiration is all around us.
The Canton Arms salad was comprised of shaved raw candycane beets and roasted red and golden beets, tossed with vinaigrette and fresh mint, all topped with cheese curd and rosemary-whole grain bread crumbs. It tasted like it was fresh out of some invisible London garden, replete with a cow generously supplying the curd.
On the flight home, I thumbed through the French food magazine and saw salmon and beets, roasted together, red beets bleeding sweet dye onto the rosy salmon. It felt wintry but also light enough as we start shedding our cocoons with the imminent spring thaw.
This is my version riffing on the two. Beets and salmon roasted together with olive oil and a bed of fresh thyme, topped with simply toasted rosemary panko breadcrumbs.
About the author: Kerry Saretsky is the creator of French Revolution Food, where she reinvents her family's classic French recipes in a fresh, chic, modern way. She also writes the French in a Flash series for Serious Eats.
- 3 large beets, red and golden
- 3 tablespoons panko
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillets
- 1 small bunch of fresh thyme
Bring a pot of water to boil. Peel the beets, and cut each beet into 8 wedges. Salt the boiling water, and boil the beets until tender to the point of a knife, about 25 minutes depending on the size of the beets. Drain, and set aside. Note: if cooking both golden and red beets, boil the two colors separately, or the red beets with stain the golden beets.
Preheat the broiler. While the beets are cooking, toast the panko. In a small nonstick sauté pan, mix together the panko, 1 teaspoon olive oil, the rosemary, and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until the panko is golden-brown—less than 5 minutes. Set aside in a single layer on a paper towel to cool and remain crisp.
Season each fillet of salmon with 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and salt and pepper. Make 4 piles of fresh thyme stems on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet, and place one piece of salmon on each bed of thyme, tucking the thyme under the salmon. Toss the beets with 1 teaspoon olive oil, and salt and pepper. Place between and alongside the salmon fillets. Broil the salmon and beets about 6 inches from the heat source (the second rack placement from the top) until the salmon is crisp and golden on top and cooked through: 15 minutes. If you prefer your salmon less well cooked, take it out after 10 to 12 minutes (Salmon should register 130° with an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part for medium rare, 150° for well-done). Top with the rosemary panko crumbs, and serve right away.