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Fish and Shellfish, Mains

Wild salmon steamed with cherry tomatoes and sage flower-tomato consomme

Wild salmon steamed with cherry tomatoes and sage flower-tomato consomme
Los Angeles Times

JOSIAH CITRIN likes to eat flowers. Or to be more specific, the chef at Melisse in Santa Monica likes to cook with them -- but he doesn't candy them and put them on cakes, a la Martha Stewart, or use ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, plus overnight draining of tomatoes | Serves 4

Tomato consomme

  • 8 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Step 1In a food processor, puree the beefsteak tomatoes and salt. Pour the puree into a large bowl lined with a double layer of cheesecloth. Tie up the tomato puree with the cheesecloth and then tie it to a wooden spoon and suspend it across a large pot to collect the liquid. Or you can use a large chinois. Drain overnight in the refrigerator.

Wild salmon and assembly

  • Salt
  • 24 cherry tomatoes (red, orange, yellow), scored with an X on the bottom
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chive blossoms plus 12 blossoms for garnish
  • 1 recipe tomato consomme
  • 1/4 cup sage flowers plus 24 flowers for garnish
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 sprigs fresh basil
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 4 (6-ounce) wild salmon fillets, skin removed
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper

Step 1Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add salt (about 1 tablespoon per quart of water) and blanch the cherry tomatoes in the water, about 1 minute. Refresh in ice water. Peel the skin off (this is easy if the tomatoes are scored), cut them in half and place them in a bowl.

Step 2Season with one-quarter teaspoon salt, the pepper and the olive oil. Mix in 1 tablespoon chive blossoms, and let the tomatoes macerate at room temperature.

Step 3In a medium saucepan, bring the tomato consomme to a boil and add one-quarter cup of sage flowers, reserving the rest for garnish. Remove the consomme from the heat and cover. Let the consomme infuse for 8 minutes. Taste and infuse for longer if necessary; the sage should not be too strong but should have an aromatic flavor.

Step 4Season the consomme with salt and pepper to taste, strain out the flowers and keep the consomme warm.

Step 5In a steamer (or a saute pan fitted with a rack) filled with 2 cups of water, add the white wine, peppercorns, basil, lemon and shallot. Bring to a boil on high heat. Continue to boil, covered, for 5 minutes.

Step 6Season the salmon fillets lightly with sea salt and white pepper. Steam the fillets over the prepared liquid on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.

Step 7Place each salmon fillet in the center of a soup plate. Spoon macerated tomatoes over the top and sprinkle with the reserved sage flowers and chive blossoms. Ladle the consomme around the salmon and serve immediately.

Note: From Melisse chef Josiah Citrin. Prepare the consomme a day before serving.


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