Pan fried salmon on fennel & celery salad with roasted tomatoes

This week I'm doing another simple restaurant inspired supper that I love. The main reason I've featured this is because I used to think I didn't like fennel and celery, but I was wrong! I just didn't know how to prepare them and on the odd occasion I'd have them in restaurants, I'd push it to the side or think I don't like that and the old mind over matter kicked in and hey presto, I didn't like it. No more though! The balance of flavours in this dish is great and I defy anyone who says they don't like fennel not to love this.

Apologies for the rubbish photos, I did actually make it again but then forgot I needed to re-do the photos until I was half way through eating it - doh! (You can see the half eaten dinner photo - still looks delish.) Anyway I can't make it again as I'm currently lying by the pool in my hotel in beautiful Porto Cervo, Sardinia. Thanks to MC&L, Fern, Jo and the support of the guys in my detox groups, I'm feeling pretty hot in my bikini (literally too), which is an amazing feeling after feeling uncomfortable in swimwear almost all of my adult life. I did the 21 day detox again before coming away, it’s great to get back to the MC&L basics every now and then for a refresher.

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Makes 4

You will need:

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 3-4 celery sticks
  • A small bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1/2 a lemon, juice only
  • Olive oil
  • salt
  • 4 handfuls of cherry tomatoes

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Oven Roasted Tomatoes

1. Preheat your oven to 200. In an oven proof dish add your cherry toms, about 1 handful per person is a good guide. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and some salt and roast for at least 10 mins. The longer you leave them the sweeter they become but don't leave them for longer than 25 mins or they’ll go to mush. 

 Fennel and Celery Salad

1. Peel the celery with a veg peeler, this is essential as it removes the stringy part of the celery which is just not nice to eat. Then slice thinly on the slant, so each piece is quite big but thin. (Look at the 1/2 eaten portion photo)
2. Cut the fennel in quarters discarding the ugly outer leaves and cutting away the core. Then slice it very, very thinly. If you have a mandolin use that, I often find it hard to thinly slice things, but I give it a bash and 90% of the time it’s okay, if a little thicker than I'd like. The reason we're going ultra thin here is so the fennel flavour is not over powering.
3. Add a good glug of olive oil, lemon juice, salt, fennel and celery to a bowl, give it a good mix and set to the side. The lemon has a wonderful effect on the fennel and it totally changes the taste and kind of cooks it, the way citrus is used in curing fish. Remember olive oil is clean unless it’s heated up so don't be shy and enjoy the taste of the med.

Pan Fried Salmon

I'm in such a pan frying salmon rut but I totally love it fried and since MC&L taught me about coconut oil being clean I just think why do it any other way?!?! I've featured it so much by now you could write this bit, so to mix it up I'm doing a new crispy skin salmon which I stole from Jamie Oliver - cheers Jamie, Pukka!

1. Heat your pan to a med (or just over) heat for 2 mins, add some coconut oil.
2. Pat your salmon with kitchen towel to remove excess moisture and add a very light sprinkling of salt.
3. Place the salmon in the pan skin side down, use a fish slice and apply some pressure to the salmon so that the skin completely makes contact with the pan. Cook for about 4 mins skin side and 1 min on the top side.

Plating up

Before serving add the parsley leaves to the fennel & celery and give it a mix.
Then add the salad to the plate, place the cooked fish on top and the tomatoes to the side.

My ingredients photo just show 1 portion as I made it for myself, I used the leftover fennel in a salad for work. I'm quite into it now after thinking I hated it, it’s like discovering a new thing to play with :)

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Right gang that’s’ it from me this week. I'm going to go and have a cocktail now, well it’s almost  6pm and I'm on holiday. I'd love to say I'm bringing home lots of new recipes, but to be honest I've been mad for the pasta out here. Oh wow wee the Sardinians know how to make delicious pasta, like green (basil) pasta and black (squid ink) pasta. For the last year the only pasta that has gone past my lips has been quinoa, millet or spelt and that was mainly for experiments, they don't really cut it when compared to a fresh Italian pasta. As much as I'm loving it here, I'm actually looking forward to getting home, back to training and clean eating.  Look what MC&L has done to this gin, beer & pizza loving, lazy party girl!

Lots of love and sunshine

Evie xxx

PS since writing this week’s recipe and committing carbacide, I've got into the fish, so proof I'm not just eating bread and pasta. This fish looks amazing, now how can I recreate this in the UK?

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