There is a certain camp of foodies that doesn’t believe that highbrow ingredients should be incorporated in such lowbrow ways as, say, ye old pedestrian sandwich. These are also the staunch purists who don’t believe oysters should be fried, Kobe ground and slapped together in patty form, or caviar used as a common condiment for potato chips. Perhaps it’s because Ina Garten introduced me to the last at age 12, but I’ve never been one of these people.
As a quarter-life cook, my concept of highbrow has expanded to include anything at the meat or fish counter above $10/pound. And in order to enjoy some of my favorite items on days when someone else isn’t paying for them, I indeed turn to lowly, carbo-centric vehicles like the sandwich.
Grilling both the salmon and the bread (stove-top), adds a great smokey flavor to an otherwise straightforward fish sandwich. Serve it for lunch or dinner, so long as there are no haters at your table.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
4 slices fresh sourdough or country white bread
1lb wild salmon fillets
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 heirloom tomatoes (assorted colors), cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/3 cup chive-cashew pesto (recipe follows)
Set a stove-top grill pan over high heat, or fire-up your outdoor grill.
Brush each piece of bread lightly with olive oil. Grill the slices one at a time until nicely crisped–about 1-2 minutes per side, rotating 90 degrees on each side to create a nice cross-hatch.
Remove any noticeable bones from the salmon. Slather the mustard on the flesh-side of the fillets, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon, one fillet at a time, flesh-side down until opaque halfway up the sides, about 4 minutes. Flip the fish, and cook skin-side down until cooked to your desired doneness (medium-rare pictured).
Meanwhile, slather 2 slices of bread with mayonnaise. Divide the grilled salmon fillets between the two pieces. Arrange the tomato slices on top of the fish, slather with pesto, and top with the remaining grilled bread.
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup roasted or toasted cashews
2 cups snipped chives
Juice of ½ a lemon (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
¼ – ½ cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small food processor pulse the garlic and the nuts until finely chopped. Add the chives and lemon juice and blend until the herbs have begun to break down. Add the olive oil, and puree until the mixture is smooth and at your desired consistency, adding more oil as necessary to break down the nuts and herbs. Taste for seasoning. Add salt and extra lemon juice for acidity as needed.