Salmon fillets are poached briefly, then served with a ravigote sauce. Ravigote means “to invigorate” in French, and this sauce, containing tomatoes, scallions, garlic, parsley, lemon juice and olive oil, awakens the taste buds and complements the salmon. Pickled capers lend wonderful piquancy to the sauce.
Ingredients for sauce:
2 plum tomatoes (5 ounces), halved, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon drained capers
2–3 scallions, trimmed (leaving some green) and chopped (1/3 cup)
1/3 cup chopped onion, rinsed in a sieve and drained
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped (1 teaspoon)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 skinless salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each and about 1 1/2 inches thick)
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil in a large stainless steel saucepan.
- Add the salmon to the pan and bring the water back to a boil over high heat (this will take about 2 minutes).
- Immediately turn off the heat, or slide the pan off the heat and let the salmon steep in the hot liquid for 5 minutes. (The steaks will be slightly underdone in the center at this point; adjust the cooking time to accommodate thicker or thinner steaks and to satisfy your personal taste preference.)
- Remove the steaks from the liquid with a large spatula or skimmer, drain them well, and place on four warm plates.
- Sponge up any liquid that collects around the steaks with paper towels, then spoon the sauce over and around the steaks and serve.
Jacques Pépin is a world renowned French chef, instructor and cookbook author who hosts the KQED cooking series Essential Pépin. The recipe for salmon fillets is reprinted from the cookbook, Essential Pépin, with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co.
Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.