On the lookout for different but simple ways of cooking salmon, this is another family favourite. Inspiration for this is a recipe by Neil Perry, who Aussie readers might have heard of. He runs a spate of fabulous restaurants in Sydney, and I love his fresh style of cooking.
Chickpeas, tomatoes and goat’s yoghurt are all very Mediterranean, and straightforward flavours. I was pleasantly surprised at how well these flavours meld together. It’s an excellent wholesome meal with protein, carb, and veggies all in one.
I served it with some samphire, which is a salty green vegetable that grows on marshy land. In the UK, it’s often sold along with the fish in the fresh fish counters. It’s delicious, and all it needs is a blanching and tossing in some butter. Don’t add salt, it’s inherently salty.
Crispy Salmon with Chickpeas
This recipe relies on just 3 key bits, all of which are easy to do. Fresh salmon, tomato chickpeas (tinned is absolutely fine, unless like me, you often have cooked chickpeas lurking in the back of your freezer), and some fresh herby yoghurt. Perry uses sheep milk yoghurt, which has is smooth, tangy & aromatic, but use a combination of plain and Greek yoghurt if you can’t find sheep/goat yoghurt.
To make the chickpeas accompaniment, heat the olive oil in a heavy sauce pan. Fry the garlic and herbs for about 1 minute and then add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and salt and pepper. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes. Check seasoning.
For the salmon, pat the salmon dry with kitchen paper. Then scrape the skin of the salmon with the back of a knife moving backwards against the skin to remove as much moisture as possible. Season with salt and pepper
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, until hot. Add the salmon, skin side down, and press immediately to avoid the salmon for curling up. Cook about 3 minutes skin side down.
The skin should be crisp, and the fish cooked about a third from the bottom.
Turn the fish over and cook for a further minute or two. Remove from the pan and finish the rest of the pieces.
For the herbed yoghurt, mix all the ingredients together and mix well. Check seasoning.
To serve, divide the chickpeas amongst 4 serving plates. Place the salmon, crispy skin side up. Add a large spoonful of yoghurt, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some lemon wedges on the side.
If using dried chickpeas:
Soak overnight in water with ½ teaspoon baking soda. Next morning drain and refresh with water and either pressure cook (1 whistle & 15 minutes) or cook in a saucepan with fresh water for about 30-40 minutes until tender.