Friday, March 12, 2010

Salmon with Shrimp Mousseline and Lemony Dill Sauce

I've been on a seafood and fish kick lately.  I've resolved to eat less meat and poultry and more vegetables to feel better and have more energy.  I was recently listening to a podcast where Mark Bittman was talking about eating vegetarian during the day and for dinner, eating whatever he liked.  He lost a bunch of weight and his blood pressure returned to normal.  I can't help but think that this lifestyle could help everyone become healthier in the long run.  Don't get me wrong - I am still a fierce omnivore, but it occurred to me how often I eat meat.  It's been a bit of an adjustment, but I'm going to enjoy learning new recipes.

A few days ago, I headed over to Whole Foods to pick up groceries for dinner.  It's always fun to go there just because there are so many beautiful ingredients to chose from.  The salmon was calling out to me from the fish case.  I had the idea to use dill and lemon with it since that is such a classic combination.  I used the shrimp mousseline to give it a little fat and also to protect it from the direct heat of the oven so the salmon would stay moist and tender.  The results were pretty delicious and I think this concept warrants a little more exploration on my part.

Salmon with Shrimp Mousseline and Lemony Dill Sauce

2 6 oz. salmon filets
5 or 6 shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon mustard
1 handful fresh baby spinach, washed
1 handful fresh dill, washed
juice of half of a lemon
1/2 cup white vermouth
1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
3 or 4 peppercorns
3 tablespoons butter, divided
salt and pepper

For the salmon:
  1. In a food processor, combine egg whites, shrimp, 1 tablespoon butter, and mustard.
  2. Puree the ingredients until they are well incorporated.
  3. Spoon the mixture on top of the salmon.
  4. Roast the salmon in a 400˚ oven for 15 to 20 minutes depending on how well you like your salmon.
Make the sauce:
  1. Bring water, vermouth, peppercorns, and bay leaf to a boil.
  2. Puree the spinach, dill, and hot liquid in a blender until smooth.  The heat of the liquid will cook the spinach and dill just enough.  Thin out with more water if necessary.
  3. Just before the salmon is done, bring the puree back up to serving temperature in a saucepan.  Swirl in two tablespoons of butter, add lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
To plate, simply spoon the sauce onto warmed plates and place the salmon on top in the center of the plate.

With wine:  We had a Sangiovese from Tuscany called Notturno.  It had a lovely earthy cherry nose and was medium bodied.  It balanced out the herbaceous quality of the sauce quite nicely and cut the richness of the salmon very well.  A white wine like a Sancerre or New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc would also be a great choice.


  1. Awesome! I actually prefer seafood to meat. I still do eat meat, but only once a week or so. It's also good for the environment to be a "meat reducer".

  2. What kind of salmon did you select? Whole Foods has so many varieties. We like the sock eye and the Atlantic. I ask for filets cut from the center, so I can get them the same size and thickness for even cooking. I am going to try your recipe.

  3. i used coho salmon. i got filets that were about an inch thick. the james beard rule for fish is 20 minutes per inch of thickness if you like it cooked through as i do. let me know how it turns out!

  4. have had coho and it is very good. Your dad likes it too.