Plum-cured Salmon, Mandarin-fennel Slaw, Green Olive Paste and Green Olive Vinaigrette

11:30 am on 8 November 2010

(Serves 4)

The plum-cured salmon needs to be started a day ahead.

Ingredients

Plum-cured Salmon

  • 30g sugar
  • 30g salt
  • 15g ground freeze-dried plum powder
  • 200g pin-boned salmon fillet

Mandarin-fennel Slaw

  • 5 mandarins, segmented and pith removed
  • 100g young fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt to taste

Green Olive Paste

  • 250 green olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Green Olive Vinaigrette

  • 250 green olives, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 3 tablespoons Chardonnay vinegar
  • 250ml grapeseed oil

Method

Plum-cured Salmon

Combine the sugar, salt and freeze-dried plum powder and rub into the salmon fillet. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, gently remove the curing mix with a paper towel and thinly slice the salmon.

Mandarin-fennel Slaw

Place the mandarin segments in a small mixing bowl. Add the fennel and gently toss with the olive oil and lemon juice.

Season with salt.

Green Olive Paste

In a blender, purée the olives with the olive oil until smooth.

Green Olive Vinaigrette

In a blender, purée the olives, sugar, mustard powder and vinegar. With the motor running, slowly pour in the grapeseed oil. Refrigerate until required.

To assemble

Place a mound of mandarin-fennel slaw on each plate. Arrange 3 or 4 slices of the salmon on each portion with a teaspoonful of green olive paste alongside and spoon the vinaigrette over. Garnish with pea shoots.

Stephen Morris’s wine recommendation

Villa Maria (Cellar Selection) Arneis 2010. Arneis is a north Italian white wine grape – a few NZ vineyards are making wine with it now. This one has a good mineral dry nose but quite a bit of fruit on the palate. Nectarine flesh and the taste of summer – but without the zesty acids of sauvignon blanc.

Hard to find – but Redbank Wines / James Viognier 2009 – from Martinborough. Very attractive and enticing. Soft apricots. Hints at the branches of the apricot tree, or the crates that Central Otago apricots came in when I was a child. A slight lush, mouth coating palate. A hint of muskiness, in a good way.

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