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Cold Poached Salmon with Shaved Fennel and Carrots Dressed with Orange-Toasted Cumin Vinaigrette (From Cool Foods For The Summer Months, 7-8/02)

Joe George
Prep Time
40 minutes
Number of Servings
4 servings
4 cups water
1 cup white wine
The juice of one lemon
1 bay leaf
5 whole peppercorns
2 whole peeled garlic cloves
4 salmon filets, boneless and skinless, 6 ounces each.
1 small fennel bulb
4 medium carrots, peeled
1 small onion, peeled
8 tablespoons virgin olive oil
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Combine the water, wine, lemon juice, bay leaf, whole peppercorns, and garlic cloves in a shallow pan that is large enough to hold the liquid and the salmon comfortably without overlapping. Bring the liquid to a boil, and then lower it to a very slow simmer. Add the salmon and cook it for approximately 10 minutes, or until the center of the thickest portion looks just cooked when gently separated with the tip of a small sharp knife. Using a large slotted spoon or spatula, carefully remove the cooked salmon to a plate and refrigerate it. (This can be prepared 1 day ahead.)

Slice the fennel, carrots, and onion paper-thin using a mandolin, electric slicer, or if you consider yourself an extremely dexterous type, use a very sharp chef's knife. Combine the sliced vegetables in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, orange juice, white wine vinegar, and salt; set aside. In a small dry skillet, combine the cumin seeds and hot pepper. Place the skillet over medium-high heat and toast the spices until they begin to change color and perfume the air (stir and toss the spices continually to avoid scorching). Pour the toasted spices directly from the hot skillet into the vinaigrette. Whisk together the vinaigrette and pour it over the sliced vegetables. (This can be prepared 1 day ahead.)

To serve, arrange the salmon filets on plates, top with the vegetable salad, and if desired, garnish the plates with hearts of romaine lettuce, sliced plum tomato, and good quality black olives.