As we move into Spring, we look forward to cooking with seasonal ingredients and flavors and you can’t get more seasonal than with salmon. Salmon is such a flavorful fish that can handle almost any flavor that you add to it. The citrus glaze adds just the right amount of orange flavor and pairs perfectly with the fennel and olive salad.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
4 (6 ounce) 3/4- to 1-inch skinless thick center-cut salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon ground dried fennel seeds
4 naval oranges
2 small fennel bulbs, halved lengthwise, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise (pick fronds from fennel tops and reserve)
4 ounces black olives (Kalamata or NiÃ§oise preferred)
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon dried fennel, the zest of 2 oranges, and 1 teaspoon of the reserved fresh fennel fronds. Rub the mixture all over the salmon and let it sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, to prepare the oranges, using a small sharp knife slice 1/4 inch off the top and bottom of the zested orange to expose the pulp. Stand the orange on the flat end and following the curve of the orange, cut off the peel and the white pith. Cut the peeled orange across the segments into 1/2-inch thick disks and continue with the remaining zested orange.
In a small bowl, toss together the sliced fennel, parsley, olives, and the sliced oranges. In a separate bowl, mix together the juice of 1-1/2 whole oranges, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon ground fennel, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, and the remaining fresh fennel fronds. Pour 3/4 of the orange dressing over the salad and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To prepare the salmon, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until just smoking. Carefully place each fillet in the pan and cook, undisturbed, until the surface is crispy and golden brown, about 4 minutes. Using a fish spatula, carefully flip the salmon over and squeeze the juice from the remaining half orange over each fillet. Cook until the opposite side is golden brown, the edges crisp slightly, and the fish is cooked throughout; about 4 minutes.
To serve, place orange and fennel salad in the center of a plate and top with a salmon fillet. Drizzle each fillet with the remaining orange dressing and serve immediately.