|Last week, Derrick had me thinking about slow-roasted salmon (reeeaaaaallly slow). Russell's in crunch mode at work right now - lots of dinners delivered to work, and not so many shared at home together of late. Sunday he was home for dinner, and I wanted to make him something nice but unfussy. He called for pasta. I wanted to make sure he ate something green. I puttered around the herb garden and the kitchen, and what came out was a plate of orichiette tossed with a bit of butter, fresh rosemary, chile flakes, steamed broccoli, leeks melted in butter, and fried garlicy breadcrumbs, with roasted salmon piled atop. Mission accomplished, with good results.|
For the salmon:
My oven goes much lower than Derrick's - down to 150. I rubbed my salmon with salt and minced fresh rosemary, put it on a silpat, and I started roasting my salmon at 150. After 30 minutes I was getting fairly hungry, and it was clear it was going to take a lot longer than I wanted to finish the fish at 150. I turned up the temp to 175 for the next 20 minutes, and flipped on the convection fan for the last 8 or 10 minutes of that. Overall, the salmon took about 50 minutes to cook.
For the pasta:
Mise - You can do this while you're cooking the salmon, if your oven goes as low as mine!
Cut broccoli into small florets. Dice leeks into smallish pieces - mine were a half inch by 3/4" of an inch or so. Slice a clove of garlic as thinly as you possibly can. Shred a piece of bread into small bread crumbs. Cut some fresh rosemary - soft new leaves, not pinier hard leaves, and mince it. Boil some pasta water.
Put the leeks in the bottom of a heavy saucepan with a bit of water, a small knob of butter, and some salt. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low, cover and let the leeks melt for 10-20 minutes. They'll soften up beautifully, melting without carmelizing. (If you make green garlic soup or leek soup, this is how I start both of those, as well.)
Add a tablespoon of chile flakes to the minced rosemary, add a knob of butter; reserve.
Toast a few pine nuts.
Warm the garlic slices in a knob of butter with a touch of olive oil over medium-low heat. Don't fry the garlic, just let them infuse the oil. Turn up the heat after 5 minutes, and fry the garlic until golden. Remove to a paper towel to drain. Add the breadcrumbs, salt & pepper to taste, and fry until the bread is crispy. Remove to the same paper towel.
Putting it together
Time your pasta to finish around the same time the salmon does (I used about a cup and a half of dry orichiette for 3 servings). When you have 10 minutes to perfection on the salmon, steam the broccoli. When your pasta is cooked to your liking, reserve a bit of your liquid, drain, and toss back in the pot. Toss in the leeks, the butter, the rosemary/chile mix, and salt to taste. Stir well to combine. Toss in the broccoli. Pile pasta in a bowl, scatter with the breadcrumbs and pine nuts. Balance the salmon atop.
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