This method for cooking fish is akin to poaching in the flavorful liquid of a court bouillon: The moist environment produces salmon that is mild-tasting, non-oily and softly flaky. And you'll smell no aroma of fish in the house as it cooks.
Precooking the braising liquid pays off here, creating a complex broth that subtly perfumes the fish.
You'll need a 5- or 6-quart slow-cooker.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup no-salt-added vegetable broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
- 3 sprigs tarragon, plus 1 teaspoon minced tarragon leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Six 5-ounce skin-on salmon fillets
- 1 pound haricots verts (thin French green beans), trimmed
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar (may substitute white wine vinegar)
Combine the water, broth, wine, onion, tarragon sprigs and salt in the slow cooker. Season with pepper to taste. Stir, then cover and cook on LOW for 30 minutes.
Add the salmon fillets; it’s okay if they overlap. Cover and cook on LOW for 1 hour or until the fish is opaque and tender. Use a thin, slotted spatula to carefully transfer the fish to a platter, discarding the skin. Cover loosely to keep warm. Discard the braising liquid and tarragon sprigs.
While the salmon is cooking, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat.
Add the haricots verts and cook (blanch) for about 4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Immediately pour into a colander in the sink and rinse well under cool running water. Spread on a clean dish towel or paper towels to dry.
When ready to serve, heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and stir to coat; cook for 2 or 3 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the haricots verts and stir to coat and warm through, then add the vinegar and minced tarragon, tossing to incorporate.
Scatter the dressed haricots verts and shallot over and around the salmon fillets. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma's "The New Slow Cooker: Comfort Classics Reinvented," by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2010).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.