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Pan-Roasted Salmon with Pea Crema, Asparagus Crudo, and Roasted Morels

By Holly Smith From Moveable Feast Season 1, Ep.8
Colin Clark

Servings: 4

Wild salmon from Alaska’s Copper River (available at most fish markets) not only tastes robust and has a firm texture, it’s also sustainably fished. Pairing the salmon with morels, this dish brings river and forest together on one earthy plate.


For the pea crema

  • 4 cups shelled fresh or frozen peas
  • Kosher salt
  • Cayenne to taste
  • 2 tsp. fruity extra-virgin olive oil, such as Ligurian, more if needed

For the asparagus crudo

  • 1 lb. medium asparagus, tough ends removed
  • 3 Tbs. finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped chives
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 12 chive blossoms (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the morels

  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 morels (about 4 oz.), brushed clean and ends trimmed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth, preferably Dolin
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves

For the salmon

  • Four 6-oz., center-cut, wild salmon fillets (such as Copper River or King) with skin
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Make the pea crema

  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook until just tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Strain the peas and plunge them into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the peas.
  • Place the peas in a blender and pulse until smooth, adding a bit of water to blend the mixture together, about 1 minute. Season with 1 tsp. salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper. With the motor running, add the olive oil and continue blending until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer the crema to a medium bowl and set aside at room temperature.

Make the asparagus crudo

  • Using a sharp vegetable peeler and beginning at the stem end, shave as many lengthwise strips from the asparagus (including the tips) as you can. Transfer the shavings to a medium bowl and add the Parmigiano-Reggiano, chives, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, chive blossoms (if using), and 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper, and toss to combine.  Set aside.

Prepare the morels

  • Melt 1/2 Tbs. of the butter with the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until the foam subsides and the oil begins to shimmer. Add the morels with 1/4 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the vermouth and boil to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits, until almost all is evaporated. Add the broth and thyme, and simmer briskly until the liquid is reduced by about half, 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the remaining 1/2 Tbs. butter, and swirl the pan until the butter is incorporated. Keep warm, covered.

Roast the salmon

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F.
  • Pat the fish dry and season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Melt the butter with the oil in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat until the foam subsides. Add the fish, skin side down, and cook until the skin is browned and crisp, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the fish is just cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes (depending on thickness).

To serve

  • Divide the crema over four plates. Place a piece of fish on top and spoon the morels and the asparagus crudo on either side of the fish.


If wild salmon is unavailable, substitute with farm-raised.Recipe adapted from Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking.

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