I am a semi-reformed fennel hater. I don’t like black jelly beans. And I don’t like foods that remind me of black jelly beans. But I have found one way to prepare fennel that makes me want to eat embarrassing amounts of it.
But outside of that recipe, I do still kind of hate it.
Last spring, I attended a cooking class at Central Market that featured a menu built around Texas olive oils. As one of the assistant chefs plopped a tiny piece of salmon in front of me with a scary amount of fennel salsa verde, he said “the olive oil really tames the flavors of the raw shallot and fennel.”
And he was not lying.
The salsa verde is loaded with fresh fennel, shallot, lemon juice, and capers. It’s fresh, crisp, and bright. The flavors, while strong, were perfectly complimented by the fruity olive oil. All of that deliciousness is piled on top of a piece of salmon that’s seared so that the dry coriander-fennel seed rub forms a wonderful, crispy crust.
It’s every bit as good as it sounds. And more. And if you’re still on the fence about fennel after taking one bite, you’ll probably never, ever like fennel
Coriander Crusted Salmon with Fennel Salsa Verde
Coriander and fresh fennel salsa verde brightens up salmon.
- For the salmon:
- 2 Tbsp coriander seed
- 2 tsp fennel seed
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 6 salmon filets, 6 oz each
- Olive oil, for brushing
- For the salsa verde:
- 1/2 cup finely diced fennel
- 1/2 cup finely diced shallot
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp capers
- 1 anchovy filet, minced or 1/2 tsp anchovy paste
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp sherry or white wine vinegar
- Place coriander and fennel in a small pan over medium high heat.
- Toast the seeds, shaking the pan frequently, until they begin to brown and are fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Let cool a few minutes and then transfer to a grinder or small chopper and coarsley grind.
- Spread on a small plate and add the sat, pepper, and sugar, mixing well.
- Brush the salmon filets with olive oil and dip the top side of each filet into the spice mixture.
- Transfer the fish to a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate while preparing the rest of the meal. (I cook 3 filets one night and keep the other seasoned filets on the plastic-covered plate in the fridge to cook for dinner the next night.)
- To make the salsa verde, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and toss gently. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in an oven-safe saute pan over medium-high heat until very hot.
- Place the salmon, coriander side down in the hot oil and sear for 2 minutes, until a nice brown crust forms.
- Flip the filets and transfer the pan to the oven, cooking for 6-10 minutes, until the fish flakes easily and the center is almost opaque.
- Divide the salmon between plates and top with a generous scoop of fennel salsa verde.
Yields: 6 servings
Estimated time: 40 minutes
Calories: 365.9 | Fat: 17.2g | Fiber 1.1g | Protein 44.3g | Carbs 6.0g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 9