Seared Scottish Salmon with Roasted Beets
With pink salmon and crimson beets topping a cream-colored purée, this colorful dish tastes as good as it looks. The buttery purée and sweet, smoky beets team up well with meaty salmon. A hint of clove adds intrigue.
Preparation time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
4 red beets, washed
4 golden beets, washed
3 tablespoons butter, plus 2 tablespoons
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cream
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
3 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks
10 cippolini onions, peeled and cut into quarters
1/4 cup vegetable stock or canned low-sodium vegetable broth
Freshly ground pepper
4 salmon fillets (5 to 6 ounces each)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Place the beets on a baking pan, cover them with a sheet of aluminum foil (crimping it loosely around the pan) and roast in the oven until they can be pierced easily with a fork, about 1 hour. Remove the beets from the oven, take off the aluminum foil and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel the beets using a carrot peeler or sharp paring knife. Cut into large dice, between 1/4- and 1/2-inch square, and set aside.
In a large sauté pan or skillet, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the sliced onions, increase the heat to medium-high and stir to coat with the butter. Continue to sauté, stirring occasionally to prevent browning, until the onions are fully wilted, about 30 minutes. Add the cream and the cloves, lower heat to medium, and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt to taste. Transfer the onions to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat the oven (again) to 400°F.
In another large sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over high heat and add the bacon. Cook until crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the cippolini onions, reduce heat to medium and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the beets, vegetable stock and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir gently to incorporate the butter and let cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
While the beets and cippolini onions are simmering, lightly oil a baking dish or pan with 1 of the remaining tablespoons olive oil. Salt and pepper the salmon fillets and drizzle them with the last tablespoon olive oil. Place the fillets on the pan, skin-side down, and bake in the oven until opaque throughout, about 15 minutes.
When the salmon is done, remove it from the oven and set aside. In a saucepan, quickly reheat the onion purée over medium heat. Spread a 6- to 7-inch wide circle of the warm purée in the center of each dinner plate. Arrange the beets and onions on top of the purée. Place the salmon fillets at an angle leaning against the beets.
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