Pecan-Crusted Salmon with Sorrel Sauce

Sorrel is one of those greens that is easy to grow but leaves the question of what to do with it. It tastes like lemon and looks like spinach. It’s too strong to use as a salad green, but not quite an herb, either.

I came across this recipe last week while scouring Epicurious for ideas — ideas that go beyond French soups. I’ve made this twice. It’s savory but subtle. The basil and tarragon brighten up the crust. If you’re making this for a dinner party, save some of the herbs for garnish. The pecan crust and sorrel sauce are a bit drab looking and need some green to brighten it up.

Pecan-Crusted Salmon with Sorrel Sauce

slightly adapted from Bon Appetit, July 1996

1/2 cup (packed) chopped fresh sorrel (or spinach if you don’t have sorrel)
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallots
1 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
ground white pepper

1/2 cup pecans (about 2 ounces)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
4 6-ounce salmon fillets

For Sauce:
Combine sorrel, wine and shallots in heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sorrel wilts, about 2 minutes. Add cream and lime juice. Boil until reduced to sauce consistency, about 12 minutes. Transfer sauce to blender. Purée until almost smooth. Return sauce to same saucepan. Season with ground white pepper and salt.

For Fish:
Finely grind pecans, tarragon and basil in processor, reserving some for garnish. Blend in butter. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl. (Sauce and nut mixture can be made 1 day ahead. Cover separately and chill. Let nut mixture stand at room temperature 30 minutes before using.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil large baking sheet. Arrange salmon on prepared sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Spoon equal amount of nut mixture over top of each fillet.

Bake salmon until cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring sauce to simmer.

Using spatula, transfer salmon to plates. Spoon sauce around fish. Garnish with basil and/or tarragon.


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