The citrus and anise flavours complement the slow-baked salmon beautifully. Slow baking ensures the flavours meld, yet the salmon remains moist and succulent. The citrus butter sauce further enhances the flavour, while adding a creaminess to the texture as only a beurre blanc style sauce can.
On the three key components…
First, slow baking the salmon with fennel and orange. The fennel was seared to par cook it, but also to add another dimension to the flavour. The fennel and orange were layered, though the orange pieces could have been halved or quartered and mixed together with the fennel before laying the salmon pieces on the top. After seasoning and drizzling some olive oil, wrap it all up….
The citrus butter sauce draws on the beurre blanc tradition but takes a slightly different approach by starting with a velouté sauce, then whipping in the cold butter. This made a larger quantity of this buttery and flavourful sauce while using less butter to get the volume.
I found the spirulina pasta in a local deli. It had been produced in Thailand. While very tasty and great looking and bringing along spirulina’s great health benefits, it may be difficult to find. Any good linguine will work, but a coloured one will help visually highlight the fennel.
The recipe mentions retaining the salmon skin and frying it until crispy for a garnish. It is conspicuously missing from the photo above because my daughter ate it all before plating! It would have been a great garnish.
Another slow baked salmon recipe you may wish to take a look at is this one with couscous and various dried fruits and nuts.
Salmon slow-baked with fennel and orange
Slow roasted salmon
- 3 heads fennel
- 2 oranges
- 2 large mild chillis
- 1 bunch dill
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 500 g salmon fillet skin on, pin bones removed
Citrus butter sauce
- 4 Tbsp shallots finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely diced
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter 40g
- 2 Tbsp flour
- 1 cup white wine a good chardonnay works well
- 1 cup salmon head stock or fish stock or vegetable stock
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter 110g, 1 stick, well chilled
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp finely chopped parsley
Spirulina linguine (black octopus ink colored pasta would also work)
Slow roasted salmon
- Pre heat the oven to 140 degC.
- Cut the top and bottom from the fennel. Cut in half to expose the hard core. Remove the core.
- Dice the fennel into 2-3mm slices.
- Bring a skillet to a high heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil, and the fennel. Sear the fennel, but don’t burn it or let it get too soft.
- Slice the orange and chilli.
- Rinse the dill and remove stalks. Retain some dill leaves for the garnish. Coarsely chop the remaining dill leaves.
- Lay out a double thickness of aluminium foil.
- Spread the fennel, orange slices, and dill on the foil, over an area similar to what the salmon will cover. If you have a lot of salmon, do 2 or more foil parcels.
- Remove the skin from the salmon, Retain for a garnish.
- Lay the salmon fillets on top of the fennel and citrus. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle on the remaining olive oil.
- Close up the foil keeping some space between the foil and the salmon, like a tent.
- Bake at 140 degC for 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before opening the foil parcel.
- Remove the salmon to a plate. Remove the fennel to another plate.
- Squeeze any remaining juices from the orange slices into the juices that have collected in the foil and discard the orange pieces and the dill.
- Retain the juices collected and add to the sauce.
Citrus butter sauce
- In a bowl, combine the wine, stock, lemon and orange juice, finely diced shallots and garlic.
- Bring a skillet to a medium low heat and melt 2 Tbsp’s butter.
- Add the flour and whisk until well combined. Continue over the heat until the mixture turns a golden colour (4-5 minutes).
- Slowly add the wine mixture while continuously whisking.
- Simmer until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups.
- Immediately prior to serving, over a medium low heat, whisk in the butter, 1 Tbsp at a time. Wait until one has nearly melted before adding the next one.
- Add salt, pepper and adjust seasoning further if needed.
- Use immediately, or gently reheat before serving.
- Add the parsley and the other minced garlic clove just before serving.
- Slice the salmon skin and fry until crispy. Use as a garnish with some dill.