The Mediterranean meets the Far East in this recipe for escarole and scallions. We poached a filet of salmon in water, white miso paste, dried kombu seaweed, and scallions creating a salmon dashi broth. Once the salmon is fully poached we remove the salmon, strain the poaching liquid, add chopped fresh escarole and sliced scallions, and cook them briefly.
We got this salmon from Maralee McGowen, owner of Harbor Seafoods, Meats & More in nearby Port Charlotte. If you are a Worden Farm member, then you can find her as a visiting vendor at our CSA farm market each Wednesday afternoon in season.
Escarole is a type of endive. The white stems are crispy and mild in flavor while the green leaves are lightly bitter. The versatile green, which can be eaten raw or lightly cooked is high in dietary fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, and Vitamins A and K.
Dashi is a Japanese stock made with water, dried kombu seaweed, miso paste, and dried Bonito flakes, which are made from fermented, dried bonito tuna. Since we are poaching the salmon in this liquid we do not need the Bonito flakes. We have essentially created a salmon dashi if you will.
The flavor? Sublime! The effort? Oh so easy!
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
- 1 lb salmon fillet
- 1 small head of escarole
- 4 scallions
- 2-3 tbsp white miso paste (a matter of preference)
- 2 small (3 in. by 6 in.) dried kombu sections or 1 medium (6 in. by 6 in.)
- 1 1/2 quarts of water
- Remove and discard outer, tougher and/or possibly discolored leaves of the heads of escarole, wash really well as the head of escarole may be sandy, drain and chop the white stems in 1 inch pieces and the green leaves in 2 inch pieces, wash once again, drain; set aside.
- Wash the scallions really well, cut off and discard the root end of the scallion about 1/4 inch above the root:
- Cut two of the scallions into 6 inch long sections (these will go into the poaching liquid); set aside.
- Slice the remaining two scallions crosswise and thinly (these will garnish the finished dish); set aside.
- This nest step is a matter of preference and is about whether you prefer your poached salmon with or without the skin.
- If you prefer the salmon with skin on then stop here.
- If you prefer the salmon with the skin off then cut the skin off the salmon fillet as close to the skin as possible without taking too much of the flesh with it; set aside (we will use the skin in the poaching liquid to add additional flavor).
- Slice the salmon in half along the center bone line.
- Place a medium size soup or sauce pot on a burner set to medium-high heat, add the water and white miso paste, stir until the miso paste is fully incorporated with the water.
- Add the dried kombu seaweed, and 6 inch long scallion sections, bring to just simmering.
- Gently, but carefully place the salmon fillets into the simmering liquid, cook covered for up to 10 minutes.
Note: The cooking time will depend on how thick your fillet is. Ours was about 2 inches at its thickest. You can be absolutely certain it is cooked by using a probe thermometer. Fish is cooked through when the internal temperature reaches 145F.
- Once the internal temperature reaches 145F gently remove the salmon fillets from the poaching liquid using a slotted spoon or spatula, set aside but keep warm.
- Strain the poaching liquid into another medium sized soup or sauce pot, and place on a burner set to medium-high. (Discard the strained contents of kombu seaweed and scallions.)
- Bring the strained salmon dashi to a heavy simmer, add the chopped escarole, stir and cook for about 2 minutes until the leaves are just wilted.
- Your escarole is ready to plate.
- Using a slotted spoon remove half of the escarole and place in the center of a wide and flat soup bowl, or a plate with a deep center. Do the same with the remaining escarole into the second bowl.
- Place each half of salmon fillet on top of the escarole in each bowl.
- Gently pour the salmon dashi over the salmon and into the bowl.
- Garnish with the sliced scallions.
- Your escarole, scallions, and poached salmon in salmon dashi is ready!