Since I posted my recipe for cashew cream a couple of months ago I have had so many great comments. You have been sending in your photos along with lots of great ideas about how you can use it in various recipes. As it is going down so well I thought you might like to see one of my favourite recipes which uses the cashew cream sauce as a base; salmon with watercress sauce. It is a perfect recipe for this time of year, light, fresh and full of colour. Plus it never hurts that it is super easy to make.
Salmon is a great fish to cook with; it has a perfect meaty texture which makes it incredibly versatile in recipes and works with a variety of flavours. Whenever I see a salmon recipe it just seems to scream sunshine and alfresco lunches and this dish for salmon with watercress sauce is absolutely perfect for bringing out the Summer feeling.
Cooking with fish…
I know that many people are not overly confident with cooking fish; especially when pan frying as it can sometimes go wrong. The main issue is usually the fish sticking to the pan. What most people tend to do is panic and then hack at the base of the fish resulting in the whole fillet falling apart; usually with half of it still stuck to the bottom of the pan. This can be really frustrating and I know it puts people off trying again.
My advice is to make sure you use a good heavy based pan (cast iron works well), pat the fish dry with some kitchen towel before cooking, use a good portion of oil heated well before putting the fish into the pan. Always place the fish skin side down. If putting into a smoking hot pan then you will most likely see the fish start to shrink as soon as you place in the oil; this is normal. Just make sure the ends don’t curl up to much and gently press down with a spatula. Then the key is to leave it. Where things start to go wrong is if you start poking at it too early. Once the fish has been sealed and the skin started to crisp the pan will naturally release it and you can then move it around or turn it over if you wish. Patience really is the key.
You will know that your salmon is cooked when you can gently squeeze the sides and it starts to flake. I like to have my salmon slightly pink in the middle but you can cook all the way through if you prefer.
Salmon with watercress sauce…
The slightly bitter, peppery flavours of watercress are a perfect match for the salmon and I just adore the bright green colour it creates for this sauce. I have seen many other versions of watercress sauce where there are just a few chunks of chopped up watercress dotted around in essentially a cream sauce. These versions are definitely not for me.
If I am going to create salmon with watercress sauce then it is most definitely going to packed full of watercress; not only will this amplify the flavours but it is going to create a sauce packed full of nutrients (contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, manganese, carotene, calcium, fiber, iron and copper as well as being a natural antibiotic).
I know the colour might not be for the faint heated but to me it screams goodness and flavour. Seasoning the sauce is really important so make sure you taste after blitzing the ingredients together and season to your liking.
PIN THE RECIPE FOR LATER!
Servings: 4 people
- 4 salmon fillets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- For the watercress sauce:
- 1 portion cashew cream
- 100g watercress
- ½ lemon, juice only
- 200ml water
- Sea salt
- To garnish:
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns crushed (optional)
- To make the watercress sauce place the cashew cream, watercress, lemon juice and water into a blender and blitz until smooth. Season to taste and set on one side.
- Heat the olive oil in a heavy based frying pan or skillet on a high heat.
- Add the salmon, skin side down and leave to cook for 3-4 minutes so that the skin is turning crispy.
- Reduce to a medium heat and cook for a further 5-6 minutes until the salmon is cooked through. You can turn the salmon during cooking if you wish to get some colour on the top.
- Once the salmon is cooked; remove from the pan and set on one side.
- In a clean pan slowly heat the watercress sauce over a medium heat; adding more water as needed to make it the consistency of single cream.
- Plate up the salmon and serve with the watercress sauce and your favourite greens; spinach works well.
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