It’s rhubarb and strawberry season in Germany (well, not the North, as they’re still under snow) and here in Rhein-Main the market stalls are full of the fruits.
I think rhubarb is actually a vegetable, but usually I’ve had it in pies and tarts. In this dish, it’s definitely a vegetable.
I made it to the Wochenmarkt yesterday morning and picked up some treats.
I also knew I wanted fish for Easter weekend so that was an easy choice, a pinky redish salmon would be very pretty.
Finally, we (maybe just I?) have been craving brussel sprouts and I got a few of these plus some complimentary veggies.
Makes enough for 4 servings, I based the measurements on the amount of salmon I bought, all the vegetable portions are totally up to how much you want to make.
You will need to prepare the rhubarb the night before or one hour before making this dish.
- 800g salmon, with skin on, cut into 4 fillets
- Stalks of rhubarb (I bought 7, used 5 of them for a different dessert and only had 2 left, which I think 4 would be ideal)
- 1 kg brown mushrooms
- 2 parsnips
- 1 kg brussel sprouts
- 1 shallot
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 yellow onion (optional)
- Capers (to taste, about 1 tbsp for us)
- 1 tbsp Herbs de Provence
- 2 tbsp Lemon Pepper
- 1C sugar
- 1C olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tbsp butter
- Salt to taste
Cut off the ends of the rhubarb then slice in half, then slice them down the middle once if they’re thin, or however many times it takes to get strips which are roughly the same size and manageable to eat when cut down to bitesize.
Rinse well and pat dry. Put in roasting pan and sprinkle generously with the sugar (you do not need the entire cup, unless you want more sweet against the lemon sauce). Put in fridge overnight or at least one hour before cooking time. This is going to soften the strips and help them release a juice you will use later.
Heat oven to 200C
Slice the vegetables as follows:
- Parsnips: 1/4 inch long pieces
- Brussel sprouts: halved
- Mushrooms: quartered
- Shallot: thin rings
- Onion: same as shallot
- Garlic: minced, not pressed
- Rhubarb: bite size pieces out of the strips
Toss brussel sprouts and parsnips together with a few tbsp of olive oil and salt. Spread on a baking sheet and put in oven for 15 minutes or until the sprouts have a nice char to them. Toss back into original bowl when finished.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan on low to medium heat. Sauté the rhubarb until just tender (set the juice aside). Move to bowl. Try to keep them moving or the sugar will burn quickly. My sugar did, but I scraped some of the black out before moving on.
In the same pan and temperature, add 1 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the shallots and onions for 5-6 minutes before adding the garlic for another 7-8 minutes. Set aside.
Add another tbsp of olive oil and turn up the heat. Season the fish with lemon pepper. Add salmon with flesh side down to the pan, two filets at a time, and sear for one minute. Transfer to baking dish (I tried skin down and skin up but didn’t notice a difference). Bake until just before finished, about 10 minutes (I added my salmon during the last ten minutes of my brussel sprouts). Turn off the heat and let the fish rest for 2 minutes.
While the salmon and the vegetables are in the oven, add another tbsp of olive oil to the pan and the mushrooms. Sauté for 10 minutes, then add Herbs de Provence. Once cooked turn the heat down low and stir occasionally.
Put a small saucepan over medium heat. Once warm, add the butter then quickly lift the pan off the heat and stir constantly, adding back to heat when the butter cools and lifting again when bubbles form. The butter will start to brown and smell toasty. Browning butter will begin to foam as it cools and this is the end goal.
After two minutes, add lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce to the sauce and continue to stir over low heat. Add the shallots, garlic and onion mixture to the butter sauce. Add capers and rhubarb juice 5 minutes before serving.
Plate the root vegetable mixture first, a salmon fillet on top, rhubarb to the side and spoon the sauce over all.
A Note on Toxicity
Turns out, the stalks aren’t really toxic. It’s the leaves one needs to be cautious of and even then you would need to eat multiple pounds in one setting before it becomes deadly. So now, since we’re obviously still alive after eating this, I can’t wait to get more from the market and try out different variations this spring.
This is my first time writing out a recipe and documenting my steps, let me know if I missed a step, or something is confusing because I’d like to keep doing this and I want to make it useful for other people too.