This shows just how simple a sauce can be — and beautiful, when paired with coral-colored salmon. The key to producing a green sauce this striking is a quick boiling/blanching of the green ingredient — in this case, fresh parsley. Whizzed with a bit of butter, it has just enough body to stay put on the plate and provide a clean-tasting, vegetal element with each bite.
If your fillets come with the skin on, you may find it is easier to cut away the skin when the fish is still somewhat firm and not fully defrosted. Because you might have the salmon in your freezer, per the Dinner in Minutes Pantry, you may be tempted to sling a couple of the vacuum-packed fillets in the refrigerator to defrost overnight. But take a minute to de-package them instead, to help eliminate risk of anaerobic bacteria growth.
Serve with thinly sliced, steamed red potatoes.
Two 6-ounce frozen, skinned salmon fillets (see OVERVIEW)
1 large bunch parsley (curly or flat-leaf)
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
Kosher or coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil (pure or toasted)
Unwrap and place the frozen salmon fillets skinned sides down on a small metal baking sheet; this will help them defrost faster.
Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, coarsely chop the parsley leaves and some tender stems, saving a few stems’ worth for garnish.
Add the chopped leaves and stems to the water; cook/blanch for about 1 minute, during which time its color should brighten.
Drain and immediately transfer to a mini food processor or small blender, along with the water, the butter, a 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and a pinch of the pepper. Puree until thick and smooth, and keep it covered. Alternatively, you can use a tall container and an immersion (stick) blender; we found in testing that this tool made it easier to puree such a small amount. If the butter congeals a bit, pop the puree in the microwave just to warm it up.
Rub the salmon fillets on both sides with the toasted sesame oil, then season them lightly with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add them to the pan, skinned sides up. Cook for about 3 minutes per side until lightly browned; their centers should be barely cooked through.
Spoon a little of the parsley puree on each plate, then place a fillet on top. Spoon the rest of the puree over or around the fish. Garnish with the reserved sprigs. Serve right away.
Based on a recipe from cookbook author Rozanne Gold.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick; email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Calories: 430; Total Fat: 30 g; Saturated Fat: 11 g; Cholesterol: 125 mg; Sodium: 390 mg; Carbohydrates: 4 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 0 g; Protein: 36 g.