Roasted Salmon with Caper and Mustard Dressing and Risotto

, from Issue #47. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Roasted Salmon with Caper and Mustard Dressing and Risotto

I sometimes cook double the amount of salmon and dressing and serve it chilled later in the week with a big bowl of couscous tossed with roasted almonds and lots of herbs.

Serves: 4


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1¼ cups risotto rice, e.g. Arborio or Vialone Nano
½ cup white wine
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
knob of butter
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

4 pieces, skin-on salmon, pin bones removed
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
1 thin skinned lemon, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon capers, roughly chopped


Risotto: Put the stock in a saucepan, heat and keep warm.

Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic with a good pinch of salt, cover and cook until the onion is soft.

Add the rice, stirring to coat in the oil. Cook for one minute until the rice is warm (toasted). Add the wine and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Begin adding the stock, a ladle at a time, stirring and allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding the next quantity. When the risotto is tender to the bite and has a creamy consistency, stir in the butter, Parmesan and parsley and season if required. 

Salmon: Preheat the oven to 180˚C.

Put the fennel and lemon in a lined baking tray, toss with the oil and season. Roast for 10 minutes, turning once.

Rub the salmon with a little olive oil and season. Move the fennel mixture to one side of the tray and place the salmon next to it. Roast for 5 minutes or until done to your liking.

Dressing: Whisk the oil, vinegar, garlic and mustard in a bowl. Season and add the capers.

To serve: Place the risotto in shallow bowls and top with the salmon and the fennel mixture. Spoon over the dressing and garnish with reserved fennel fronds. 

Pantry note:
Arborio rice: This fat, short-grain Italian rice is high in starch which is essential for a creamy risotto. Available widely from supermarkets and specialty food stores.