I know that in a former life I was a sea otter, I love being in the water and eating everything that comes out of the ocean, and I have been known to have a mischievous bent! And, I don’t mind combining these activities. I would be completely happy living, eating and napping in a kelp bed, doesn’t that sound idyllic!
Being of an ottery nature, I especially adore salmon, particularly the king of all fishes, the King salmon. So when my dear pal Laura shared with me her fantabulous creation of a salmon BLT I just knew that I would be having it soon, very very soon, sadly of my own making, not of hers, but still it would be kinda like she made me dinner, right? I liked the sound of it so much that I begged her to tell me, detail by detail, about how she created it. And she did. What a great friend!
I went to the farmer’s market today for the sole aim to buy some eggs and perhaps some veggies, but when I saw that the fish stand had fresh wild King salmon I knew that tonight was the night! I proceeded to zoom around the market picking out a gorgeous loaf of bread, the world’s largest heirloom tomato and some absolutely darling tiny heads of green and red lettuces. Never has a bus ride home taken so long. Even some random rudeness at the market and being stomped on while on the bus could dampen my burgeoning excitement about tonight’s dinner.
I assembled the ingredients and begin my preparations. Not only is this a super delicious meal, it is the easiest to prepare and I was done so quickly, even while photographing every step!
Mis en place
I placed this lovely fresh salmon on my baking sheet, drizzled it with blood orange olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Isn’t that a gorgeous piece of salmon? It really is for two sandwiches, so guess what I’m having for lunch tomorrow. I just love the color and fat marbling of the King salmon. I popped it in my little convection oven for 5 minutes, then checked it, and then gave it 3 minutes more. I love hearing the sizzle as it cooked. Meanwhile the cat miraculously appeared and I had to shoo him from the kitchen several times!
Salmon seasoned, check!
I cooked the bacon in the microwave on a paper towel lined plate and another towel on top to prevent splattering. I love doing bacon this way because I don’t have to pay it any attention, it is 1 minute per slice, plus an extra minute or two if the bacon is thick. I love thick bacon. The best part is that the bacon always ends up perfectly flat, just right for a sandwich.
Bacon is perfectly done
The baby bunches of lettuce, which were picked this morning, were adorable and delicious. And the heirloom tomato was perfectly ripe, juicy, sweet, bursting with flavor, it’s sunshine in vegetable form. After washing the lettuce and slicing the tomatoes I like to let them drain a bit on paper toweling, it helps insure a less soggy sandwich. However, with a wonderful tomato like this an excess of drippy savory tomato juice is inevitable, and just wonderful.
The healthy stuff
I sliced up the bread I bought this morning, also baked this morning, it was still warm when I brought it home. This delicious loaf has fresh chopped rosemary and Meyer lemon zest baked right in. Not an overwhelming flavor of each, rather a subtle perfuming of herb and lemon.
The salmon is done perfectly, still a little pink and medium rare in the middle, just the way I like it. While it rested I did the rest of the sandwich prep.
Shhh, the salmon is resting…
Following Laura’s directions, I thickly spread her yummy sauce on the sliced bread. The sauce is a simple concoction of mayonnaise spiked with wasabi (don’t you just love Trader Joe’s??) and fruit preserves, I used my favorite marmalade and blitzed it up in the minichop for a smooth consistency as my marmalade is invariably chuncky.
Yummy Laura’s sauce. Note, darling finger spatula is by Fred.
Then the fun really began. I cut the salmon to fit my bread slices and placed it on the bottom slice. Then I topped the salmon with the bacon. I know, that’s a lot of bacon, right? But there can never be too much bacon in my opinion. Then the gorgeous tomatoes were added to the sandwich, followed by the red and green lettuces, and then the top bread slice went on. Ahhhh. At last. It is done…. And that took all of maybe 15 minutes, including prep time.
Laura’s Salmon BLT
One salmon steak (per Laura, “not Atlantic salmon that’s
been dyed pink, pleeeeeeeeeze!”, I prefer King salmon myself)
3 slices bacon
an heirloom tomato, cut in thick slices
1 leaf of green leaf lettuce
2 slices of rosemary Meyer lemon artisanal bread (Laura uses Orowheat whole wheat hamburger bun, “soft enough to be comfort food, with whole grain goodness”
Laura’s special sauce: 1 T Trader Joe’s wasabi mayo + 1 T of your
favorite fruit jam (I used marmalade)
1 T blood orange olive oil
salt and pepper
Your favorite accompaniments, mine are cornichons and spicy cumin pickled green beans
Preheat the oven to 450. Place the salmon in a casserole dish.
Drizzle with blood orange olive oil and season with salt and pepper. I used my convection oven and roasted it for 8 minutes with a 5 minute rest. My center cut filet was medium rare, so if you prefer it cooked completely through I would suggest roasting it for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in microwave, a minute per slice +/- depending upon your machine.
Wash lettuce and cut the tomato, drying the lettuce on a paper towel and letting the tomato slices rest on towels briefly to remove excess juice.
Make the sauce, blending the mayonnaise and preserves and blend well. Toast bread if desired, and liberally spread both halves with the sauce, then assemble the sandwich: salmon, bacon, tomato, lettuce.
Slice in half carefully and eat with a bib and lots of napkins!
I served this a bottle of Clos Saron’s Tickled Pink Rosé, from Syrah grapes. It truly is a perfectly matched wine for this meal. It is a deep King salmon color, a good up front fruit and balanced acid but with zero residual sugars. It has the perfect touch of tannins which balance out the flavors on the tongue. I think it tastes like raspberries, a bit of heaven in a glass. Thanks Gideon!
And Voila! And yes, I am going to eat it all!
Laura, a humongo thank you from the bottom of my stomach for sharing this amazing recipe. What a brilliant person you are, and it is an incredibly delicious meal.