Salmon with Sorrel Sauce (Escalope de Saumon a l’Oseille)

Escalope de Saumon a l’Oseille was invented in 1962 by the Troisgros brothers. This is a dish emblematic of the French nouvelle cuisine movement.

Nouvelle cuisine (French for “new cuisine”) is an approach to cooking and food presentation in recent French cuisine. In contrast to “cuisine classique,” an older form of haute cuisine, nouvelle cuisine is characterized by lighter, more delicate dishes, and an increased emphasis on presentation. It was popularized in the 1960s by the food critics Andre Gayot and Christau Millau in their new restaurant guide, the Gault-Millau, or Le Nouveau Guide.

Sorrel itself is a slender plant found in grassland habitats throughout Europe from the northern Mediterranean coast to the north of Scandinavia and in parts of Central Asia. The leaves, when consumed raw, have a sour taste. It is used in cooking to make sorrel soup in Eastern Europe and as a sharp contrast to heavier meats and fish.

Escalope de Saumon a l’Oseille – Pan Fried Salmon in Sorrel Sauce

Sorrel adds a somewhat bitter green compliment to the buttery flavor of thin sliced salmon. This a great choice when looking for an elegant looking dish that is relatively light and easy to make.
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Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: French, Southwest France
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Large nonstick pan
  • small saucepan

Ingredients

  • 3 oz Fresh sorrel (can substitute arugula, if necessary)
  • lb Fresh boneless salmon filets, skinless
  • 2 tbsp Scallion, chopped
  • 14 oz Can of diced tomato, drained
  • ½ cup Dry white wine
  • 1 cup Heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted European butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ Lemon (only if using arugula instead of sorrel)
  • 1 cup Fish bone broth, stock, or bottled clam juice

Instructions

  • Prep – Rinse sorrel or arugula and pat dry. Pack leaves tightly and slice crossways into very thin filaments. Place in a bowl. If using Arugula, squeeze in juice of ½ lemon and toss. Using a sharp thin knife, cut the salmon across the grain on the bias into 6 thin slices. Check for any small bones.
  • Make Sauce- In a small saucepan, add wine, fish stock, 1 tbsp scallion, and ¼ of the diced tomatoes. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add cream and reduce liquid to 1 cup, about 5 minutes more. Strain through a coffee filter in a wire mesh strainer or colander placed over a bowl. Press down to extract as much liquid as possible.
  • Put 1 tbsp butter back in pan and add the the remaining 1 tbsp scallion. Stir then add sorrel or arugula and cook until wilted. To the wilted sorrel add the strained cream mixture, remaining cup cubed tomatoes, salt and pepper.
  • Cook Fish – Heat the remaining butter in the large non-stick pan. Season the fish slices and add to the pan in 1 layer. Cook about 1 minute per side.
  • Finish Dish – When the salmon first goes into the pan, pour sorrel sauce into the center of a serving platter and smooth it around. Arrange salmon slices over the sauce as they finish cooking, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

Notes

  • Sorrel has a unique bite that is hard to replace. Arugula with a little lemon, and to a lesser extent spinach, can come close. 

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