Sometimes I can get caught in a bit of a food rut. You know where you keep eating that same thing over and over again, every week. There are times when I find this kind of consistency very comforting and I look forward to old favourites. But there are other times where I feel that I need to branch out and do something a bit different. I love fish, but I do have a tendency to always do it the same way. Salmon, oven baked with potatoes and veges. Healthy….mostly, except for the large wodge of butter I apply to the potato. Not that I make apologies for adding butter to anything! 🙂
I got stuck in my head, the idea that I wanted to make a dish with butter beans, yes a butter theme again….. Do not ask me how this bean fixation occurred or what prompted it. No doubt I saw them while surfing the net or watching the food channel and have been unable to shift the desire for them ever since. I don’t eat butter beans or other white beans that often. But they are relatively cheap and contain lots of fibre and other goodies for your body.
After a Sunday madly cleaning the house and taking full advantage of the Dyson I had borrowed off the parentals, I decided a fresh, flavourful dinner and a chilled glass of white wine was in order. This salmon dish hit the spot and I was surprised at my own presentation skills. Usually I tend to slap my food on the plate shortly before wolfing it down. In my world it tastes as good eaten from the pan it was cooked in, as it does on the plate. But I took the time to prepare and plate this meal, so I had something joyous and attractive to eat while watching Mad Men DVD’s and enjoying what was left of my weekend. The coral pink salmon against the pale green mash was so pretty and the sweet juicy tomatoes added sharpness to the whole dish. I implore you, do not leave out the squeeze of fresh lemon at the end. It is vital for lifting and bringing together all of the flavours.
I had about half of the butter bean mash left, so I added some olive oil and have been utilising it as an after work snack with some crackers. Waste nothing!
Salmon with Pesto Butter Bean mash and mediterranean vegetables
- 1 Piece of Salmon
- 2 slices of eggplant
- 4 cherry tomatoes
- 1 can of butter beans
- 3 tsp of pesto
- 2 tbsp of white wine
- Juice and zest of half and hour
- Salt and Pepper
1. Salt 2 slices of eggplant and leave aside for 15 mins until some of the bitter juices have drained out. Pat dry and Put on an oiled baking sheet. Add 4 cherry tomatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Add to 220 degree oven and cook for 15-20 mins or until eggplant is starting to crisp and go brown at the edges and the tomatoes have started to burst and gone soft.
2. Fill a pot with water and put on the stove. Add the butter beans to the water and bring the water to the boil. Once they reach the boil, take of the heat and set aside. The aim is not to cook the beans, they don’t need it but you want them warm and slightly softened to make them easier to mash.
3. Coat fish in flour lemon zest and a good pinch of salt.
4. Heat ½ tbsp. of butter in a hot pan, when it has started to foam add a small amount of oil to stop the butter burning and then add salmon skin side down. Cook for 3-5 mins or until brown and the skin is crisp. Turn fish and cook for another 3 mins on the other side. The salmon should still be slightly rare and deeply coral coloured in the centre. Put fish aside to rest.
5. Drain the butter beans, place back in the pot with white wine and pesto and mash with a potato masher. If you think the mixture needs more fluid or oil add until you get the consistency you are after. Season with a good pinch of salt.
6, Lay the eggplant slices on the bottom, topped with mash and the piece of salmon. Place the tomatoes on the plate and top everything with torn basil and a squeeze of lemon juice.