Fresh fennel and fennel seeds flavor this elegant main course. Fennel contains anethole, a phytonutrient that has been shown to reduce inflammation. The omega-3 fats, such as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid), found in salmon are anti-inflammatory, and they support cardiovascular health by preventing platelets from sticking together, thus improving blood flow. A 4-ounce (120 g) serving of salmon contains one-third of your daily recommended value of omega-3 fats.
¼ cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) minced white onion
½ tsp (2.5 mL) gray sea salt or pink rock salt
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fennel greens, divided
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh dill OR 1 tsp (5 mL) dried dill
1 tsp (5 mL) fennel seeds
1 large fennel bulb (quartered, then cut lengthwise into ¼-inch [0.5 cm] slices)
¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable stock or filtered water
two 7 oz (200 g) salmon fillets
1 tbsp (15 mL) raw honey or maple syrup
2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
¼ cup (60 mL) fresh dill (garnish)
1. In a small bowl, mix the oil, onion, salt, fennel greens, and dill. Set aside.
2. Gently toast the fennel seeds in a large cast-iron or titanium skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, stirring constantly for about 1½ minutes. Transfer the seeds to a small bowl and let cool.
3. Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil mixture to the same skillet and sauté over medium-low heat until onions are translucent. Spritz liberally with filtered water or broth to ensure the oil doesn’t overheat. Add the sliced fennel bulb and stock. Cover and cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.
4. Uncover the skillet and add the cooled fennel seeds.
5. Place the salmon fillets on top of the fennel, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
6. Turn the salmon over. Coat it with the rest of the oil mixture. Cover and continue cooking until the salmon is opaque in the center, about 3 minutes longer.
7. In a small bowl, mix together the honey and lemon, and then add it to the skillet along with the remaining tablespoon of chopped fennel greens. Stir to heat through.
8. Divide the fennel mixture between 2 plates. Top with the salmon and spoon the remaining sauce over top. Garnish with fresh dill.
Makes 2 servings.
You can find this recipe on page 322 of my first book, Meals That Heal Inflammation.