Copper River salmon is a big deal in the Pacific Northwest, especially in Seattle. People go nuts over it, and rightfully so - it is considered the richest, fattiest and therefore tastiest fish out there. This is because of the strenuous and long journey this particular fish endures from Copper River in Alaska to Cordova; the Copper River salmon becomes very strong with loads of body fat (the good kind) and natural oils making it soo delicious and sometimes expensive unless you happen to find a sale.
This type of salmon pairs well with something light, refreshing, summery. This salmon only comes around from May to June.
This meal is definitely one of my favorites I've made. I am a huge fan of salmon and did not realize it until a few years ago. My mom has a strong dislike of fish and shellfish allergy, so it was a rare occasion either entered our kitchen growing up. Seriously, she's missing out.
pan-fried salmon with summer squash, fennel salad + lime vinaigrette
Serves 2 very hungry eaters, 4 petitely
2 - 6 oz. filets of salmon, or 12 ounces (I used Copper River)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small summer squash, sliced thinly
1 small zucchini, sliced thinly
1 fennel bulb, sliced thinly
1 small handful baby arugula
for the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on the flesh side of the salmon filets.
Using a mandolin, thinly slice the summer squash and fennel. Combine in a large bowl with handful of arugula. Prepare the vinaigrette: in a bowl or mason jar add all ingredients. With a whisk, stir until completely emulsified. Pour an appropriate amount over the salad. There will be some vinaigrette left over - store in the fridge in a mason jar or other covered, airtight container.
In a medium sized frying pan, heat + swish one tablespoon of evoo to evenly coat the pan. Turn heat to medium and add the filets of salmon, flesh side down first. Fry on each side, first for 5 minutes. Cover the pan. Flip, fry for an additional 4 minutes covered.* Serve over salad and enjoy!
*Note: Every stove is different in terms of heat levels - you may need additional time to fry the salmon if you don't like a very pink fleshy center.
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