I like my salmon with a spicy rub and tangy, acidic accompaniments as a foil to the fatty richness of the fish. This dish is very easy and quick to make and beautiful to behold. It’s self-saucing—making its own flavourful liquid as the mustard seeds, spices, cooking juices and citrus mingle together. It’s easily adaptable for a bigger crowd – just get a bigger piece of fish.
Serves 4 to 6
FOR THE PICKLED MUSTARD SEEDS:
- ½ cup yellow mustard seeds
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup white wine vinegar or cider vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
FOR THE SALMON:
- 2 clementines, peeled and sectioned
- 2 blood oranges
- 1 Cara Cara orange (or ruby red grapefruit)
- 2 pounds skinless salmon fillet
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup lightly packed fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, chervil and mint
- To make the pickled mustard seeds: Heat a small saucepan over high heat. Add the mustard seeds and toast until fragrant, about three minutes. Add the water, vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook until the seeds are soft and plump and most of the liquid has been absorbed (it still should be spoonable), about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- To make the salmon: Peel both oranges with a knife, removing all of the white pith. Cut crosswise into slices. If using grapefruit, cut out each section, leaving the membrane and pith behind.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C. Line a large baking sheet with foil.
- Place the salmon on the prepared baking sheet and rub with the oil. Mix the cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and pepper to taste together and rub all over the salmon, making sure the top is well coated first.
- Roast for 12 to 15 minutes (depending on thickness), for medium, or to desired doneness. Using two large spatulas, carefully transfer the fish to a serving platter, top with ¼ cup pickled mustard seeds, the citrus and the herbs.
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