Fasoulia is a bean dish that exists and varies across the Mediterranean and Middle East. Soak the beans overnight. You will need a sugar thermometer for this recipe. The salmon is cooked sous-vide, however, you can also poach it in white wine and butter.*
- 400 g (about 2) centre-cut salmon fillets, skin and bloodline removed
- 150 g butter, chopped
- 5 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 cinnamon quill
- 1 tbsp Aleppo pepper (see Note)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 thyme sprig
- 200 g dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight
- 200 g dried haricot beans, soaked overnight
- 50 ml olive oil
- 50 ml vegetable oil
- 2 carrots, cut into 1cm dice
- 2 onions, cut into 1cm dice
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 1cm dice
- 1 small garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp Iranian or good-quality saffron threads
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 500 ml (2 cups) fish stock, heated
- 50 g butter, chopped
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place salmon in a zip-lock bag with butter, spices, honey, thyme and 1 tsp salt. Season with white pepper. Seal bag, removing as much air as possible.
Place a folded tea towel in the base of a saucepan (this protects the bag from the heat at the bottom of the pan). Place bag over tea towel and top with enough water to cover. Place a plate on top to keep bag submerged.
Cook over low heat until water reaches 50°C on a sugar thermometer. Remove pan from heat and set aside for 8 minutes or until salmon fillets are slightly firm. Transfer bag to a plate and allow to cool. Remove salmon from bag, reserving cooking juices. Flake salmon flesh and set aside.
To make fasoulia, drain beans and place in a saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil, removing any scum from the surface. Drain and rinse under running water. Return to the pan and repeat process 3 times.
Heat oils in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, onions, celery, garlic, saffron, and vanilla bean and seeds, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until vegetables have softened. Stir in beans and fish stock, and cook for a further 12 minutes or until liquid has almost evaporated and beans are just coated in liquid. Remove from heat, stir in butter and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
Place fasoulia on a plate, top with flaked salmon and drizzle over reserved salmon cooking juices to serve.
To poach salmon, place fillets in a large frying pan over medium heat with 250ml white wine and 100g butter. Cover and cook for 8 minutes or until just cooked.
Aleppo pepper, from Middle Eastern food shops and specialist spice shops, is a medium-heat chilli used in Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisine. Substitute coarsely ground chilli from Korean and Asian food shops.
Drink 2008 Salomon undhof 'pfaffenberg’ Riesling, Kremstal, Austria
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 9, pg96.
Photography by Derek Swalwell.