It’s one of those classic combinations. I love salmon and broccoli in fishcakes and as part of a quiche filling. But sometimes it’s nice to separate the ingredients out, and give them a chance to compliment each other in a different way.
I’ll admit, this is a slightly odd mix, with Italian playing against Chinese flavours. But it works well, and it’s a lively and springtimey meal.
Start off with a couple of decent-sized salmon fillets. Coat them in a goodly dollop of pesto, and then roll each fillet in breadcrumbs. (There is no reason not to have breadcrumbs in the freezer. It’s the best way of using up stale bread. Blitz or grate the end bits that would just go in the bin otherwise, and bag ’em up. Easys.) You won’t get an even coating, but you need enough to give a light crunch. Alternatively, splodge pesto on top and press on a palmful of crumbs for a denser, more crispy finish.
Pop the fillets onto a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper, and into a hot oven (200C, Gas 6) for 20 mins.
While they’re doing, steam some purple sprouting or tenderstem broccoli, for about ten minutes. The greens should take the point of a knife without any resistance, but should still be, you know, green. Once done, let the broccoli cool slightly, before mixing it with something salady – pea tops would be ideal, or some young watercress. The salad will soften slightly in the heat from the broccoli. That’s the plan, and why you need a robust salad leaf.
Then dress the greenery. Make up a basic vinegrette (three parts oil, one part vinegar. I used cider vinegar, because it was to hand. Lemon juice would be nice, I think). Then a little soy sauce for salty umaminess, which you might need to balance with a bit more acid. Taste, and taste again until you’ve got a flavour that works. This goes over the broccoli and salad, enough to add a shine. Don’t go nuts.
Pile the greens onto two plates, and top with the sizzling fish from the oven. Any spare dressing can go on the side.
It’s light, but fresh-tasting and full of flavour. You can bulk it out if you like with some new potatoes or rice, but I think it’s perfect as is. Save room for some cake afterwards, instead.