M. Andrew Gordon

Salmon with Cannellini Beans and Citrus Salad

In Main Dish, Side Dishes on January 15, 2011 at 8:34 pm

One of my favorite pairings with salmon for a long time has been cannellini beans.  Often confused with navy beans or Great Northerns, cannellinis are kidney-shaped with a thin skin and have a pleasant nutty flavor and retain their shape pretty well.  I find the flavor is a nice foil to the assertively sweet flavor of salmon or trout.  In the past I’ve cooked the beans with garlic and onion, but the other night I was thinking about essentially just heating them and adding garlic and onion that had already been cooked.

Starting with a good dose of olive oil, I slowly cooked the garlic and onion over low heat so that the oil just barely simmered.  I added some crushed red pepper for a shot of heat and a slice of Meyer lemon for a little acidity and sweetness in one shot.  For those unfamiliar with the Meyer lemon, I think they are completely worth tracking down for their somewhat unique flavor.  Essentially, it’s a lemon you don’t mind eating.

Straining the oil out of the garlic and onion, the aromatics get added to the beans and some roasted potatoes to create this side dish.  The remaining oil is drizzled over the cooked salmon, tying the two dishes together.

Citrus salads have been getting a lot of publicity as of late and for good reason – come the winter, citrus is at least in season in the South (that bad ass frost Florida had this winter notwithstanding) and in New England, it’s a pleasant reminder of summer-like weather.  This version uses blood oranges, navel oranges, and the aforementioned Meyer lemon dressed with lime and rice wine vinegar.  I think the smoked sea salt provides a subtle flavor that keeps the palate intrigued, cutting the sweetness of the citrus.

Salmon with Cannellini Beans and Roasted Potatoes – Serves 2

  • 5 or 6 fingerling or baby Yukon potatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely crushed black pepper
  • ½ inch slice meyer lemon
  • 1 can Cannellini beans, drained
  • ½ teaspoon smoked sea salt, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ pound salmon filet
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.  Coat potatoes with two tablespoons olive oil.  Roast for 30 minutes or until tender.  Let cool and quarter.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil with garlic, red onion, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and lemon over low heat in small saucepan.  Cook, stirring often, until garlic is soft, about ten minutes.  The oil should just barely be sputtering.
  3. Remove lemon and strain oil into dish.  Return garlic-onion mixture to pan.
  4. Add beans to sauce pan and cook over low heat.  Add a tablespoon or two of the oil to the beans and the potatoes.  Let warm, stirring occasionally.
  5. Heat butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add salmon and cook for five minutes, flip and cook for another five minutes or until desired doneness.
  6. Drizzle reserved oil over salmon and serve with the beans.

Citrus Salad with Mint

  • 2 blood oranges, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 navel oranges, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 meyer lemon, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked sea salt, more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced mint
  1. Combine oranges and lemon in bowl.  In separate small bowl, whisk together lime juice, vinegar, chile powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle mint over oranges, add dressing, and toss to combine.
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  1. Hey Matt,

    Your mom was here last night and we were looking at your blog… it’s great! You are quite the innovative cook. And did you know that Denny’s is celebrating “Baconalia”? Bacon’s in the limelight!

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