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Pan Seared Salmon with Parsnip, Rutabaga Puree, and Blood Orange Arugula Salad

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

Season: Autumn

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 45-55 minutes

Crispy Succulent Salmon with root vegetables stewed in there own juices, makes a light flavorful puree. Blood orange and red pepper flakes bring just the right amount of brightness and heat to balance this eye pleasing plate.

Serves 4

Parsnip Puree

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup water

fine sea salt

1 3/4 lb. of rutabaga & parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. pieces

1/4 cup Creme fraiche

sprinkle of nutmeg for plating (optional)

*Parsnip puree can be made a day in advance


2 blood oranges (or other oranges)

4 small radishes, sliced very thin on a mandolin

2 cups arugula (chopped)

2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp. aleppo pepper or other crushed dried red chili flakes

fine sea salt


4-6 oz. salmon filets with skin

sea salt and coarsely ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or organic canola oil)

For Puree

Heat butter and oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat , until butter is melted.

Add onion, 1/4 cup water and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened. About 5-7 minutes.

Add parsnips, rutabaga and remaining 1/4 cup water and another pinch of salt.

Cover, reduce heat to lowest setting, and gently steam until parsnips are very tender. About 45 minutes to one hour.

Remove from heat, let sit for 5 minutes, then puree in a blender or food processor.

Add creme fraiche and pulse a couple of times to incorporate. Cover to keep warm.

For salad

Using a sharp paring knife, trim off tops and bottoms of oranges. Stand each orange on end and carefully cut peel and pith from flesh, following the natural curve of the orange from top to bottom. Trim away any remaining pith. Cut each orange between the pith into thin slices.

Combine oranges, radishes, arugula, oil, pepper flakes, and salt to taste in a medium bowl. Toss gently.

For Salmon

Pat filets dry with paper towels. Generously season skin side with salt and pepper.

Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet (or other heavy bottom pan ) over medium high heat.

Add fillets, skin side down in a single layer and cook

Tilting pan carefully, spoon hot oil over the top of fish until skin is blistered and crisp. About 4 minutes.

Turn and cook until fish is cooked through, 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to plate.

Spoon puree onto warm plates and top with salmon. Next, top salmon with salad, drizzle salad juices over everything. Sprinkle a dash of nutmeg and serve.

Cooks Note: There is enough parsnip puree to add two more salmon fillets. Bump up the salad as well. You can use this puree technique for any kind of root vegetables or combinations such as parsley root or turnips. If you can't find mandarin oranges substitute tangerines or meyer lemons.


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