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Pepper poached salmon and herbed beets recipe

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Adjust Servings:
1 to 1½ pounds fresh or frozen Salmon fillets
1 cup loosely packed Watercress leaves
2 tablespoons snipped fresh Tarragon
½ of a Lemon , cut into thick slices
2 teaspoons whole Peppercorns
3 Bay leaves
½ cup Sour Cream
1 teaspoon snipped fresh Tarragon
½ teaspoon ground Black Pepper
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon snipped fresh Chives
Watercress and fresh tarragon sprigs (optional)
1recipe Herbed Beets

Nutritional information

Serving Size
289 kcals
16 g
75 mg
379 mg
12 g
3 g
25 g

Pepper poached salmon and herbed beets recipe

  • 1 hour 9 minutes
  • Serves 4
  • Medium




Poaching—simmering in liquid such as water, wine, broth, or some combination—is one of the best ways to cook fish because it doesn’t dry out. The liquid is usually flavored. Here it’s infused with the flavors of watercress, tarragon, lemon, peppercorn, and bay leaves in a bouquet garni—traditionally a bunch of herbs tied together with string or wrapped in a cheesecloth.



Thaw fish, if frozen. Measure thickness of fish. Cut fish into 4 serving-size pieces if necessary. In a large skillet combine 1 cup water and ½ teaspoon salt.


For the bouquet garni, place ½ cup of the watercress, the 2 tablespoons tarragon, lemon slices, peppercorns, and bay leaves in the center of a double-thick, 9-inch-square of 100%-cotton cheesecloth. Bring the corners of the cheesecloth together and tie with clean 100%-cotton string. Place the bouquet garni in the skillet. Bring water to boiling; reduce heat. With a slotted spatula, gently lower the fillets into water. Cover and simmer for 4 to 6 minutes for each ½ inch of thickness or just until fish flakes when tested with a fork. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the fish fillets to a platter. Cover fish; keep warm while preparing sauce.


For sauce, in a blender or food processor combine sour cream, the remaining ½ cup watercress, the 1 teaspoon tarragon, the black pepper, and salt. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Stir in chives. Spoon sauce onto plates and top with fish. Serve with Herbed Beets. If desired, garnish with additional watercress and tarragon.


Herbed Beets

Cut green tops from 1 pound fresh baby beets (about 12) or small beets. Discard tops. Cut beets into quarters. Wash beets; do not peel. In a small saucepan bring a small amount of lightly salted water to boiling. Add the beets. Cover and cook over medium heat about 20 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. Allow beets to stand at room temperature until cool enough to handle (about 10 minutes). Holding beets under running water, slip skins off beets. Place beets in a serving bowl. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Toss to mix. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons snipped fresh watercress and 1 tablespoon snipped fresh tarragon.


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