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Tray-baked salmon with olives, green beans, anchovies and tomatoes

December 2, 2010

There are now three fishmongers at South Melbourne Market. The latest addition is South Melbourne Seafood. Some 98% of their stock comes from Australasian waters, with an emphasis on sourcing fish from sustainable fisheries.

With another player in the market, things look like getting competitive. I think we are really spoiled for choice now.

I notice Aptus Seafoods has installed a live mussel tank and the bag-your-own bivalves are very reasonably priced. More bargains are promised with on a wall poster announcing their upcoming 40th anniversary.

There is plenty of salmon and ocean trout around and one of my favourite ways of serving is this Jamie Oliver recipe. Like so many of his recipes, this is a simple one but produces an impressive and well-flavoured dish. It's a great one for a learner cook or for anyone who wants to put a beautiful dish in front of guests with a minimum of effort.

It comes from his first cookbook, The Naked Chef, published in 1999 to accompany his debut TV series. I can't get over how young he looked. I met him the following year when he visited New Zealand on a promotional tour. Then my son, who knew one of the pastry chefs at Monte's where Oliver was head chef, returned from London with an autographed copy of his second book The Return of the Naked Chef for me.

Since then I've bought Jamie's Kitchen and Jamie's Italy and I frequently return to his books when I am seeking inspiration.

OK. I know. I forgot the anchovies! I was cooking from memory...

Jamie Oliver's tray-baked salmon

200g green beans, trimmed
20 small cherry tomatoes
1-2 good handfuls black olives, pits removed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 225g thick salmon fillet steaks, with or without skin, but with pin bones removed
2 lemons
1 handful fresh basil, picked
12 anchovy fillets

Top and tail the green beans and blanch in salted, boiling water until and drain. Put in a bowl with the cherry tomatoes and the stoned olives. Toss in the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Give the salmon fillets a quick wash under the tap and pat dry with kitchen paper. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the fillets on both sides then season both sides with salt and pepper and drizzle a little olive oil over the top.

Preheat oven and a roasting tray at highest temperature. Put your four fillets of salmon at one end of the roasting tray. Toss the basil into the green beans, olives and tomatoes and place this mixture at the other end of the tray. Lay the anchovies over the green beans. Roast in the preheated oven for 10 minutes then remove from the oven and serve with lemon quarters.

Oliver suggests accompanying the dish with homemade mayonnaise or aioli.

The Naked Chef   The Return of the Naked Chef

Recipe ©Jamie Oliver Photograph ©Pat Churchill

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