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Broiled Salmon with a White Bean, Kale & Bacon Ragoût

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Serves four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 63

High heat adds flavor fast to this salmon, which is drizzled with bacon fat, then seasoned. The hearty ragoût rounds out the dish and adds substance to the overall meal.

  • 1/4 lb. thick-cut bacon (about 4 thick slices), cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups packed thinly sliced kale leaves (stems removed)
  • 1-1/2 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 15-1/2 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1-1/2 lb. skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 uniform pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme

Set an oven rack 6 inches from the top element and heat the broiler to high.

In a heavy skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon in the olive oil, stirring occasionally, until the bacon renders much of its fat and starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Use a spoon to remove 2 Tbs. of the bacon fat from the skillet and reserve in a small bowl.

Add the garlic to the bacon in the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the garlic starts to sizzle, about 30 seconds. Raise the heat to high, add the kale, and sauté, stirring, until it starts to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the skillet, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

While the beans are cooking, line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil and arrange the salmon, skin side down, on it. Drizzle the reserved bacon fat over the salmon and season with 1/2 tsp. salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Broil until slightly firm to the touch, 7 to 10 minutes for medium (the salmon will be dark pink in the middle). Sprinkle half of the thyme over the salmon. Stir the remaining thyme into the beans and kale and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, spoon equal portions of the beans and kale onto dinner plates and top each with a piece of salmon. Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a simple salad, one your create yourself with our Starter Salad Recipe Maker, or a Classic Caesar.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 700; Fat (g): fat g 47; Fat Calories (kcal): 430; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 12; Protein (g): protein g 46; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 24; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 19; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 7; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 1060; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 145; Fiber (g): fiber g 5;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This ragout is delicious. Made it countless times as written. I don't cut down the stock but instead let it simmer on very low at least 30 mins. Served it last night with loin lamb chops and added sautéed mushrooms, grated Reggiano parm and added arugula right at the end in place of the kale.

This ragout is delicious. Made it countless times as written. I don't cut down the stock but instead let it simmer on very low at least 30 mins. Served it last night with loin lamb chops and added sautéed mushrooms, grated Reggiano parm and added arugula right at the end in place of the kale.

Doubled the Ragout which I let simmer for a couple hours before finishing the recipe. Served with crusty bread. Very good. All flavors melded well together. Healthy but hearty. Didn't knock our socks off though.

Per other reviews, used only 1 cup of broth and seared salmon in the reserved bacon fat before broiling. Also added some lemon juice to the ragout at the end. Fantastic, the ragout itself would make an excellent side dish for other entrees as well.

Good and very easy. I would probably grill the salmon next time. Since it's Friday, I just left out the bacon. Did not really miss it. I think the greens and beans would work great with other fish as well.

Perfect dish for a cold winter night. Salmon & bacon pairing works. Easy to prepare. Nice color combination.

This is such an easy dish to prepare, yet the flavor abounds! The fresher the salmon, the better. Made this in California at our time share and my husband raved about it. Another positive is that it's quite healthy, with the exception of the bacon! This will remain a staple at our house!

This is surprisingly delicious. Reading the recipe had me thinking it would be plain - it was anything but! It is also fairly easy to make. This one will be going into our regular rotation!

I have made this recipe many times and each time it turns out delicious. Relatively fast and easy to prepare. I always make the full amount of the ragout even though there are only two of us as I love the leftover beans and kale for lunch the next day. I cook the beans a little longer so that their starch thickens the sauce slightly. And I use low-salt bacon and chicken broth to keep the sodium down. I am now looking for a way to reduce the cholesterol count without losing the taste the bacon provides. any suggestions?

This dish is on the menu around once a week in my house. The variations are endless: kidney beans for cannelini, swiss chard for kale, add some lemon zest, saute fennel prior to wilting the chard, etc. etc. I would also recommend using less stock but make sure the stock you do use is homemade: the dish is twice as good! Also, pan searing the salmon results in a better texture and flavor, you can add a bit of grape-seed oil to the bacon drippings to keep the smoke down. Finally, reserve half the crispy bacon bits for a garnish.

This recipe is stunning! Restaurant quality taste. The white bean, kale, bacon is perfect. It was a little liquidy so I guess you could reduce the amount of broth slightly but it also worked well drizzled over the fish. Such a deep, complex flavor and it didn't feel too heavy.

Nice for a change but we were a bit disappointed. Would have liked the salmon crisped up a bit more (maybe I'd sear it in a pan first like I often do), and as well was disappointed in the softness of the bacon (seemed soggy....actually the whole thing was swimming in a bit too much liquid for my liking). Maybe if I were to do it again I'd leave out the chicken broth as well.

This has become one of our standards around here. Healthy and delicious.

I thought this was very good. I made it with swiss chard instead of kale. The leftover ragout was a great lunch the next day

I thought this was delicious. The bean,kale & bacon rocked. Salmon was the backup player, but still good.

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