‘Steal from the best…’
So here be a fantastic recipe I shamelessly lifted from Nigella Lawson, and I present it to you in the ethos on which the wonderful lady bases the majority of her recipe sharing. That is, a recipe only exists when it is being used. Therefore the sharing and recycling of recipes is both endorsed and encouraged by many a famous food writer, so I feel in no two ways remorseful about taking said recipe from Ms. Lawson and sharing it with you here.
Nothing is new. Originality is a long deceased notion within the world of cooking, I believe. There are only a certain amount of ways to roast a chicken, for example, so until somebody invents a new flame or comes up with new heat – we’re going to have to stick to tried and tested methods of cooking.
I once read that for food writers to claim a recipe, they need to change 3 things from the ingredients and make a minimum of two alterations to the method. Great – but why bother? If a famous food writer presents you with a fantastic recipe time and time again, what is the harm in using it? Just don’t claim it as your own. There’s no shame in saying “Oh actually, it’s from so-and-so food writer”. People want so badly to proclaim their originality and how coming up with these recipes is a testament to their homemaking when 9 times out of 10, it’s just easier to plonk it on the table and call it what it is.
If you don’t come up with recipes for an actual hobby or a job, I urge you to just take solace in the recipes of the people who do. They’ve done the work for you. My gastronomical parents, Nigella Lawson and Nigel Slater, are forever bouncing recipes from one another in their books. In fact, I learnt how to do Nigella’s Mushroom Burger by reading it in Nigel’s ‘Appetite’ book. Recipes are not there for you to read, salute and put away to gather dust – the whole purpose of a recipe is to propel you into the Kitchen.
So as a case in this point, I want to give you an unrefined recipe that I use time and time again – never seeking to make it anything other than what it is. This recipe here can be found in Nigella Lawson’s fantastic book ‘Simply Nigella’ (2015) and after making this for several people who have all enjoyed it, I thoroughly recommend you add it to your Kitchen repertoire.
Arrange some designer leaves (I love a mix of watercress and rocket, because I love that peppery bite) on a plate. Fill a saucepan with water and put in some salmon fillets skin side up. Squeeze the juice of a lime into the water along with a small handful of peppercorns and bring the water to a boil. Once the water starts bubbling, take the pan off the heat and flip the salmon on to its back in the water and leave to lie in the cooling water for 7-8 minutes.
Once this is done, take the fish out of the water into a separate bowl and prod at it with a fork, flaking into bite size chunks. Sprinkle a little apple cider vinegar over the salad leaves before cutting an avocado in half and using a tea spoon, rip out small bite size chunks of the green flesh.
In a dry pan, toast a handful of pumpkins seeds until they start to pop and jump about a little in the pan before dumping them on top of the avocado spiked leaves. Finally, throw over the flaked up salmon before covering in a generous sprinkle of sea salt.
I may have veered slightly off track in the order of how our Nige does it, I believe she does the pumpkin seeds a little sooner, adds spring onions and leaves the salmon go cold, but I’m greedy and impatient… and also ran out of spring onions when I went to make this the last time.
So if you want to add the spring onions to the water, by all means do. But this is fantastic in it’s own way, and without leaving the salmon to go cold you have a slightly warm flecked salad which is perfect for those days where you want a delicious meal with hardly any effort. Not everybody wants a cold salad in the depths of Winter, so I find this is the best of both worlds.