I normally don’t like fruit in savoury dishes. I find the sweetness clashes with the other stronger flavours. I can still remember being given curries with pineapple, apples, and tinned cherries. I think it left a mark on me and has made me avoid putting them in savoury dishes for a long time.
But fruit can elevate a dish to the next level if done correctly. This prune, salmon and saffron dish is Turkish inspired and is an excellent example where the natural sweetness of fruit helps enhance the other ingredients. The saffron brings in wonderfully earthy notes, along with its stunning colour and the prunes sweetness permeates the fish and sauce. I like to serve this dish with cardamom rice as it complements the salmon and brings in extra colour with the black and white of the wild rice, green from the herbs, cream of the nuts and the red jewels of the pomegranates. This dish is great to have in the summer and will impress your guests, plus it’s delicious and simple to make.
Yields: 3 portions
Time: 1.5 hour
1 onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, diced
1 tsp olive oil
Pinch of saffron
1 tsp paprika
10 prunes, chopped (stones removed)
1 tsp tomato puree
700ml cold water
200g wild rice
½ tsp ground cardamom
60g toasted cashews
4 sprigs mint
2 sprigs parsley
30g pomegranate seeds
- In a large pan, put the salmon, water and saffron. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat off and leave for 5 minutes while the fish poaches and the saffron releases its colour.
- Meanwhile, in a large flat pan, put the olive oil, finely chopped onions, and garlic. Cook until golden brown and soft.
- Once the onions are cooked, carefully, using tongs, move the salmon into the pan. Add the water that they have been cooking in.
- Add the prunes, tomato puree, and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. If the sauce is too watery, remove the salmon and reduce the sauce until it’s thick and sweet. Add the salmon back in to warm through. Season with salt and pepper.
- While the fish is cooking, put the rice in a pan along with the ground and whole cardamom pods. Pour in enough water to cover the rice and bring to the boil. Cook on a low heat for 20 minutes or until soft.
- In a dry frying pan, place the cashews on a high heat and toss every so often until the nuts start to have brown spots and smell toasted. Place on the side to cool then chop.
- Drain the rice. Then add rice to a bowl, and mix in chopped mint, parsley, nuts, and pomegranate seeds. Toss.
- Place the rice on a plate, put the salmon on top with a good amount of the sauce, onions and prunes. Serve warm and enjoy.