I had my good friend, Dorita Pina, over for lunch on the first day of fall. This was my first “food-guest” since March when COVID19 came on strong. We were able to sit outside, but the day was still very warm so I decided to serve a cold lunch.
I had everything put together except the dressing of the salad so we had lots of time to visit.
COLD POACHED SALMON
WITH DIJON MEYER LEMON SAUCE
2 Wild Coho Salmon filets
Cut 3 lemons into quarters after juicing and zesting for the vinaigrette and sauce. I also added a big squeeze of lemon juice to the poaching liquid.
1/2 cup white wine
Lots of freshly chopped chives.
Lots of freshly chopped dill.
Water to nearly cover the salmon filets.
Place salmon on a rack in a saute pan. Drop lemon pieces around the salmon. Cover with herbs, salt/pepper, white wine and top with water to nearly cover the salmon filets. Cover the pan. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce heat immediately to a bare simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave in covered pan for 5 mins. Salmon will be done when it becomes opaque and is slightly firm to the touch. Remove cover and let cool on the rack before removing the salmon. Carefully lift out the salmon with a spatula. Peel off skin and any herbs that have stuck to the fish. Set aside, covered in the fridge with plastic wrap.
DIJON MEYER LEMON SAUCE
Juice and zest of 1 Meyer lemon. If you don’t have Meyers, any lemon is good. I just really like the sweet flavor of the Meyer lemon.*
1/4 cup mayo
Scant tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. capers
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh chives
Salt/Pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients. Cover and place in fridge until ready to serve. Giving it an hour or more in the refrigerator helps to bring the flavors together.
*WHY ARE MEYER LEMONS SO SPECIAL? Meyer Lemons, originally from China, are considerably less acidic than the regular lemons you will find in the grocery, which are usually either Eurekas or Lisbons. Meyer Lemons definitely taste lemony, but both the juice and zest are more fragrant than what you normally get in the groceria. They are also smaller with thinner skin and less white pith under the skin than the regular lemons. You could practically eat the entire Meyer Lemon whole, but probably would not. They are perfect for a totally lemon-forward meal!
Juice 2 Meyer lemons to make 1/3 cup. Again, any lemons are good. Just make sure you have 1/3 cup juice so citrus to oil is proportionate. Add 1/2 cup of your best extra virgin olive oil. I used an oil I bought at my new favorite store in Tucson, Roma Imports. Salt and white pepper to taste. Do not under-salt. Put all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously until they come together and somewhat emulsify. Leave on counter until ready to dress your greens. Shake again just before dressing.
Just before Dorita arrived, I dressed some beautiful, fresh arugula with the vinaigrette and made a Caprese Salad with heirloom tomatoes, fresh Buffalo Mozzarella and lots of basil from my garden. I drizzled balsamic vinegar over the top and added salt and freshly ground black pepper.
I completed the meal by steaming asparagus and dressing in just a little, you guessed it, lemon juice and lemon zest. This also was served cold. The theme today was definitely lemon and perfect for a warm first day of fall.
We had such a fun afternoon eating, sipping some lovely wine and enjoying each others company. I have truly missed sharing food with my friends and hope to do more of it soon!
This meal was so easy to put together. I think you will love it!
ALL FOR TODAY…
SEE YOU NEXT TIME FOR ANOTHER EPISODE OF…