My sister in law calls them ‘fridge orphans’. You know, those leftovers you find lurking at the back of the refrigerator. Sometimes you emit a faint shriek and throw them straight into the compost bin. Sometimes though they earn their keep and combine to make a very good meal.
I had a couple of salmon fillets which I’d planned to turn into my double-whammy fishcakes, but you know how it is, I’d had a long day and I ran out of steam.
Investigating the darker reaches of the fridge I found I had some salsa verde left over – not quite as green and verdant as it had been but still full of flavour. So I mixed it with a few breadcrumbs and used it to make a topping for the salmon.
Paired with some leftover potato salad and dill sauce* and roasted alongside some asparagus, it made a good supper, well worth making from scratch. You will only need a couple of tablespoons of the salsa but it’s good with grilled meat or cheese and it keeps for up to a week (just try not to forget it’s there). Use half a dozen anchovies in place of the olives if you like them.
Salsa Verde Salmon
2 salmon fillets
2-3 tbsps of breadcrumbs
For the salsa:
1 small bunch of parsley
Few sprigs of mint
1 tbsp capers, rinsed
3-4 gherkins (depends on their size, you need about 1 tbspn when chopped)
About 6 black olives, pitted and chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice of up to 1/2 lemon
1 heaped tspn of Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
Chop the first five salsa ingredients together, place in a bowl, stir in the mustard, then whisk in the oil and half of the lemon juice. Check the seasoning and add more lemon juice if necessary, along with a grind of black pepper. Mix in the breadcrumbs.
Line a baking tray with foil, place the salmon skin-side down in the dish and spoon some of the salsa verde mixture on top, pressing down to make it stick.
Bake for 12-15 minutes – this depends on the thickness of your salmon fillets – or until cooked to your liking.
* For the dill sauce, I mixed a big handful of chopped fresh dill, a small bunch of snipped chives, a good big dollop of buttermilk and a tablespoon or so of crème fraîche, then seasoned it with salt and freshly ground pepper. Tweak to taste.