Languedoc Salmon with Mussels (with Rose Murray Brown’s wine recommendations)
This is a recipe I use for entertaining family and friends at home and also as a base for menus at La Garrigue restaurant in Edinburgh.
The salmon can easily be replaced with halibut, coley lemon sole etc…and the samphire can be replaced with fine strips of courgette or asparagus, and to make it more luxurious you may also replace the mussels with poached oysters (3 per portion).
Ingredients (serves 4)
1kg of mussels (raw weight) pre-cooked and shelled. (Keep the cooking stock)
4 salmon steaks (skin off)
100g of samphire
1 teaspoon of chopped ginger (fresh of course)
6/8 stems of asparagus sliced roughly
1 teaspoon of finely chopped shallots
1 pinch of chopped garlic
1 small punt of cherry tomatoes cut in quarters
1 shot olive oil and 50g of unsalted butter
1 fresh lemon.
A pinch of dry chili flakes
- To cook the mussels, put the washed mussels in a pan and add a glass (70/80 ml) of wine. Place on a medium heat, cover and cook until the shells are open. I used Noilly Prat (Vermouth made in Marseilles, Languedoc of course) but a dry white wine, sherry or champagne will work as well. Or be adventurous and use a splash of a good lager….
- Pan fry the salmon with half the butter and the olive oil on a medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes each side. I like to keep it a bit under cooked to keep it moist. Remove from the pan and keep warm and cover with cling film.
- In the same pan add the asparagus, the samphire the garlic and the ginger. Add a glass of the mussel stock and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes and last, the mussels and the rest of the butter and bring to the boil…..add a drop of the lemon juice. Reduce a little bit to achieve a syrup consistency, then divide onto 4 plates, placing the salmon on top ….et voila!
Serve with seasonal small new potatoes which will go very well with this dish but be careful with the seasoning as the mussel stock will add saltiness to the sauce – and a glass of chilled dry white wine. Bon Appétit!!
Rose’s wine pairing recommendations
Jean-Michel’s choice of Viognier to accompany this dish is spot on. His recommendation comes from his own Languedoc vineyard in southern France, but you can also find some excellent examples of the grape elsewhere. For a good bargain choice, Yalumba’s Y Series Viognier 2020 (13.5%) £8.50 Majestic, Morrison, M&S, Sainsburys & Co-op is hard to beat, made by the Queen of Viognier down-under, Louisa Rose. It’s a dry unoaked Aussie example with fresh pineapple flavours, sweet sour notes and lovely silky smooth texture. Alternatively head to sunny California for a richer riper style with peachy citric notes: Cline North Coast Viognier 2020 (14.5%) £14 Woodwinters – or back in Languedoc, try the excellent richly textured characterful Laurent Miquel’s La Verite Viognier 2018 (14%) £17.99 Waitrose Cellar.