Friday, October 21, 2011

Roasted Salmon with Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime

Colors on my morning walk.

Every fall as the leaves turn and the landscape is ablaze with orange, red and yellow I bring in my two potted kaffir lime trees and dig up the clumps of lemongrass that I grow as an annual. Both are tropical herbs not meant to withstand the New England north winds. The lime trees will spend the winter in a sunny window giving us fresh leaves for winter soups and stews
Kaffir Lime

but the lemongrass must be dug up and used, dried or frozen.  Growing and harvesting lemongrass as an annual yields tender stalks not found in any store. They seem to get tougher the moment they're lifted from the ground.
I'm always looking for new ways to use these herbs while they're still fresh and tender.  For the most part I've use them in Thai and Lao dishes, but this time I wanted to try something different.  I remembered a recipe for Rosemary Roasted Salmon, an old favorite from Epicurious, that is super easy, can be made ahead and is delicious.  The recipe calls for rosemary and lemons but I replaced the rosemary with lemongrass, used limes instead of lemons and added kaffir lime leaves to the mix.  The result was aromatic, light and tasty.

 Roasted Salmon with Lemongrass and Kaffir Lime
Adapted from Epicurious Rosemary Roasted Salmon

  • 3 - 4 stalks lemongrass
  • 6 - 8 kaffir lime leaves, to cover the piece of salmon
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 2-pound center-cut salmon fillet with skin
  • 3 - 4 large limes, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Sea Salt and pepper
First layer lemongrass
Salmon on top of lemongrass
Kaffir lime leaves on top of salmon
A layer of thinly sliced limes seals everything in.
After 20 minutes in a 500F degree oven the salmon is moist and aromatic.
Preheat oven to 500°F.  Cut lemongrass into 6" pieces or the width of your roasting pan, crush them well with the flat of your knife or a rolling pin, arrange in a single layer.  Place salmon, skin side down, atop the lemongrass. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover salmon with crushed or torn lime leaves, followed by a layer of sliced onion.  Arrange lime slices over the onion.  Drizzle olive oil all over.  Sprinkle lime slices with more salt.  Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 2 hours.

Roast salmon, covered, until just cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer salmon to plates, add another squeeze of lime. Serve with roasted onions and lime slices. Makes 4 servings.

More recipes using lemongrass, kaffir lime and other fresh herbs:
Thai Curry Squash Soup

No comments: