This recipe combines truly seasonal UK produce to create a dish with the deep satisfying flavours of the fish and sauce against the lightness of the puree.
800g of Fresh Scottish Salmon Fillet, cut into even quarters
1 medium celeriac
3-4 medium parsnips
1 small white swede
2 fresh bay leaves
Handful of mixed hardy herbs like rosemary and thyme
250g of mushrooms (British chestnut or shitake), washed, dried and quartered, with stalks trimmed a little
60ml good quality olive oil (a nice dark green one)
For Red Wine Sauce:
½ bottle of red wine
2 peeled cloves garlic
5 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
300ml of beef stock or a vegetable stock (ideally home-made but if not you can use a jelly type stock cube)
Put a medium to large sized steamer section pan on to boil and add salt and your herbs and bay leaf to the water, allowing them to come to the boil and simmer.
Peel and cube your celeriac, parsnip and swede into inch size chunks. Place the cubes in the steamer above the stock for around 7-8 minutes until just cooked.
Next mash just under half of the butter (40g) into the soft warm vegetables and break it down, sprinkling lightly with salt as you go. Transfer this to a bowl and puree your vegetables with a stick blender or food processor, gradually adding around 50ml of olive oil until you have a smooth paste.
If you have one, pass this through a fine mouli for an even silkier puree.
For the sauce chop your garlic cloves into around 8 chunky pieces and sauté gently in a little olive oil for a couple of minutes.
Next add the vinegar and cook until it has almost evaporated.
Then add your red wine and cook until the liquid has reduced by two-thirds. Add 300ml of beef stock, reducing it again by two-thirds.
At this point you will have something looking quite glossy. Remove the pieces of garlic with a spoon and whisk in 25ml of butter. You can set this to one side to heat up later.
Rub your salmon with a little salt, pepper and the remaining olive oil and start to heat a medium sized non-stick saucepan. Add 40g of the remaining butter to the pan and allow it to sizzle and foam before placing the salmon skin side down into the pan. Cook for at least 4 minutes on a moderate heat until it has started to colour. Whilst you are doing this, heat another saucepan the same way and add the remaining butter, mushrooms and a little seasoning.
Now re-heat your puree for a minute or two in a microwave and gently re-heat your sauce.
Turn the salmon over, it should be slightly crispy and charred and carry on cooking for a few more minutes with the mushrooms doing the same.
You now have all your components ready and warm so you can plate up, layering the puree, mushrooms, crispy salmon and dotting the sauce around the edge. You can serve the remaining sauce in a jug.
Garnish with some herbs and enjoy a perfect taste of late winter