Let’s hear it for sustainable seafood! Ned Bell is also the founder of Chefs for Oceans, a not-for-profit organization that spreads awareness of overfishing and sustainable catching methods. His new cookbook, Lure, is an in-depth guide to keeping it fresh, safe and responsible. Whip up this salmon and kale salad and feel great in every possible way.
Salmon makes dinnertime so easy. Its full flavor means it can stand alone with minimal seasoning, or stand up to just about any assertive ingredients you crave, including kale tossed with an autumnal cider vinaigrette. To help satisfy our hunger for this omega-rich fish without depleting the ocean, the ‘Namgis First Nation of Vancouver, BC, has made tremendous strides in sustainably farming Atlantic salmon. Their landlocked pens at the north end of Vancouver Island ensure the fish never escape into the ocean where they might wreak havoc on wild populations. In the States, farmed steelhead or arctic char offers a similarly sustainable alternative with a comparable flavor and nutritional profile.
Honey And Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 6 cups torn purple, red Russian or curly leaf kale, stems removed
- 4 skin-on Kuterra farmed salmon or steelhead fillets (4 to 5 ounces)
- Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 lemon, halved
- 6 cups torn baby kale
- 1 large tart-sweet apple such as Honeycrisp, unpeeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 cup toasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup fromage frais or fresh whole-milk ricotta
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
For the vinaigrette
Combine the vinegar, mustard, honey, and salt and pepper in a small bowl. While whisking, slowly drizzle the oil in a thin steady stream until incorporated and the mixture is emulsified.
Adjust seasoning to taste. (Alternatively, you can do this with an immersion blender or in a blender or small food processor.) Can be made ahead of time; will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
For the salad
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Set a large bowl of ice water nearby. Add the kale to the boiling water and blanch for 45 seconds. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer immediately to the ice water. When completely cool, drain, squeezing out the excess water.
Use paper towels to pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Carefully lay the fish in the pan skin side down. (If necessary, cook the fish in batches to prevent overcrowding, which will keep the fish from caramelizing properly.) Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes; a golden crust will have formed on the skin. Flip the fillets over, skin side up, and cook for another 3 minutes or until flesh is browned, fish is almost opaque all the way through and flakes easily. Add the butter to pan. Allow it to melt while you squeeze the lemon over the fish. Use a spoon to baste each fillet with the buttery juices for about 1 minute. Transfer the fish to a plate and keep warm.
In a large bowl, toss the blanched kale and baby kale with just enough vinaigrette to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 4 plates and garnish with the apples, hazelnuts, fromage frais (or ricotta), and cranberries. Top with the pan-seared salmon and drizzle with a little more vinaigrette. Serve warm.