Mother's Day: Salmon w/ Sautéed Vegetables

I'm always in search of the perfect dinner party recipe.

That is how I started my blog 6 years ago.
I used to entertain often, always in search of the perfect recipe for a crowd.

I would have patio parties all summer long, mostly on Sundays, and cook a big meal with appetizers, salads and entrees. Friends would ask me for my recipes, so I started a web-log (hence the name BLOG), where I could jot the recipes down with a cell phone photo to match.

I don't entertain much anymore, maybe cause I cook so much during the week, that by the weekend, I want to go out to dinner!

Many years ago, I made Ina Garten's whole salmon stuffed with fennel, leeks and orange for my husband's family at Easter. I had to tie the fish with twine after stuffing it, and though it tasted fantastic, it was a big pain to cut at the table (the skin was left on the fish on both sides).

I love that recipe from her first book, but wanted to simplify it.

I found a few variations of Ina's recipe, but I especially loved this one from foodiegoeshealthy.
She added carrots for color and cooked everything in a foil packet. So smart.

This was the perfect make ahead dish.
You sauté your vegetables first, cool them, then layer them on the whole salmon.

Tie up the bundle in foil and place in the fridge until ready to roast.

The results were light and moist, and very fragrant.
I added leeks because they remind of spring.

The original recipe says cook the salmon for 25 minutes, but mine was still not cooked thru, so I unwrapped the package and cooked it another 10 minutes open (I think my fish was larger than 3.5 lbs).

This is the perfect Mother's Day dish and I will be making it for my mom, who loves salmon.

Salmon w/ Sautéed Vegetables:

1 large fennel bulb, sliced into julienne strips or 1/4" slices.
1 small onion, sliced into thin slices or 3 medium sized leeks, sliced (white parts only)
2 medium-sized carrots, sliced into julienne strips about 1/4 inch wide and 3" long.
2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil plus 1 tbsp butter
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds
2 tablespoons orange zest
3-1/2 pound whole piece of salmon filet, bones removed, skin on is fine
fennel fronds for garnish

Sauté all of the vegetables in a large, heavy skillet w/ the olive oil and butter for 5 minutes.
Season w/ kosher salt & pepper.

Add in the orange zest, thyme, fennel fronds, white wine and orange juice and cook for another 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced.

Important: Set the vegetable mixture aside until completely cooled.

In a roasting pan big enough to fit your fish, lay out a piece of foil going the long way. Lay another piece of foil on top of that, going the width of the pan. Spray it with cooking spray, so the fish doesn't stick.

Season the salmon w/ kosher salt. Lay half the cooked vegetables on the bottom of the foil lined pan, and then lay the fish on top.
Spread the rest of the cooked and cooled vegetables on top of the salmon and seal up the foil package.

Place in the fridge until you are ready to roast!

Take the package out of the fridge 20 minutes before you are ready to put in the oven.
Roast the fish in a 450F oven for about 30-40 minutes.

Let rest before serving. This is also excellent at room temperature, served like a poached salmon.

So good and so easy!

I served it with herbed rice, which is a big pot of rice cooked in chicken stock, along w/ the zest of a lemon, a handful of cilantro, fresh dill and scallions.

Photos do not do this dish justice.



Natalia said…
I love salmon - could eat it every day! This recipe looks fabulous, simple yet elegant. Do you think making it on the grill would work just as well or would it be too charred?

I may make this for Mother's Day luncheon as well!
Irene said…
Oh thank you so much for this recipe, now I know what I am going to cook on Mothers day…
Stacy your fabulous.
South Australia XXX
Rebecca said…
This looks amazing- can't wait to try it. I made your Labor Day weekend tarragon chicken orzo salad for a group this weekend and it was a huge hit! Your blog is the first place I turn in need of a new dish that always ends up being a staple in our home!
Dear Stacey,
Thank you for linking to my salmon recipe. I like the leeks you put in the recipe. I'm glad you enjoyed this dish as much as I do. I have stumbled upon your blog before and like your recipes. Happy cooking, Dana