My wife was not looking forward to this one. That's to put it mildly. Salmon with anchovy sauce and boiled potatoes? Even writing it out sounds strange. But trust me, it somehow all works beautifully together. Even my wife cleaned her plate.
So where did this come from? Consider this a combination of the old and new. Not quite sure what todo with some salmon fillets, I flipped open my copy of Escoffier's 1903 tome, Le Guide Culinaire. Though I had no chance of finding a quick weeknight meal buried in the fine print, I knew there would be some flavor combination I'd never considered before. That's exactly what I found with recipe 1665 (Darne de Saumon à la Danoise), which pairs poached salmon with "plain boiled potatoes and Sauce Bâtarde finished Anchovy Butter." Now, Sauce Bâtarde is actually one of the simpler sauces in the cookbook to whip up, but it still requires lots of whisking and a liaison of egg yolks, so I looked elsewhere for an easier creamy anchovy sauce.
I found my answer in Modern Sauces by Martha Holmberg, which features a recipe for a creamy anchovy-caper vinaigrette. It's easy. Just toss everything in a food processor, turn it on, and you're done. Though robust and salty, thanks to lemon juice and heavy cream, it doesn't taste the least bit fishy. It's almost like a funkier version of hollandaise, and it pairs exceptionally well with the salmon. Interestingly, Holmberg even writes that the sauce goes well with boiled potatoes. She's right.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 4 medium) quartered
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 scallions, ends and white parts discarded, green parts thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 4 (6 ounce)salmon fillets, skin on
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- For the Vinaigrette
- 10 anchovy fillets, preferably packed in olive oil, drained
- 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon drained capers
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with water. Season generously with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer until tender and fork slides in easily, 15 to 20 minutes. When done, drain in a colander. Toss in a large bowl with green scallions and 2 tablespoons of parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Season salmon fillets on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add salmon fillets skin side down, and carefully press the fillets down with a spatula or your fingers for a few seconds so that the skin has full contact with the skillet. Cook until browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully flip fillets and cook for 1 minute on the other side. Remove fillets and set aside.
For the vinaigrette: Purée the anchovies, lemon juice, capers, and parsley in a food processor. With the blades running, pour in the olive oil and heavy cream until the sauce is smooth and thick, about 20 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve salmon fillets and potatoes with the creamy vinaigrette on the side.