Second only to the salmon, butternut squash is a real star in this recipe, complimenting the perfectly cooked fish in a way that is both unexpected and delightful. Often winter dishes can veer towards the more robust. The goal here was a dish that was both seasonal and light and can be made either for a weeknight dinner or a more festive occasion.
I chose to use a French technique known as à la nage in this recipe. A la nage is a traditional French method of gently poaching seafood in a savory, aromatic broth. Most recipes call for non kosher seafood like mussels or prawns. Fresh from my recent adventures in Japanese cooking I was sure I could easily tackle this challenge and I did!
Butternut Squash Salmon à la Nage
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups diced butternut squash
- 1 cup diced celery
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1 (3.5 oz-4oz) container sliced shitake mushrooms (about 2 cups)
- 6 cloves garlic, halved
- 1-1/2 cups dry white wine
- 4 cups water
- 4 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cup chopped parsley (+ 2 Tbsp for garnish)
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 tsp honey (optional but recommended)
- 4 pieces salmon fillet (approximately 2" pieces)
- 1 lb Angel hair pasta or thin spaghetti prepared in salted water as per package directions
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add squash, celery, onion, mushrooms, and garlic and cook, over high heat, stirring often for about 10 minutes.
Add wine and bring to a boil. Cook for 4-5 minutes until wine is mostly evaporated.
Add water, salt, 3/4 cup parsley, pepper, bay leaf, and honey. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Simmer 8 min.
Gently add salmon to broth, skin side down. Bring broth to a bare simmer. Gentle bubbles should only be visible around the edges of the pan. Cook 8 min, basting each piece of salmon every 30 seconds (approximately) with the broth to ensure the top of the fillets cook through.
To serve: Make a bed of pasta. Using a thin spatula gently place a fillet of salmon over the pasta. Spoon broth and vegetables over the pasta and salmon. Garnish with chopped parsley and plenty of freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Delicious warm or at room temperature