Wild king salmon shines best when left alone. This simple preparation, adapted from "The Broad Fork" by Hugh Acheson, brings out the flavor of the Alaska native without upstaging it.
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 salmon fillets, preferably king, 6 ounces each
- Sea salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 pound ramps, cut into 2-inch lengths, leaves included
- 2 cups fresh English peas, blanched in boiling water for 1 minute, or 2 cups frozen petit peas
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a saute pan large enough to hold all four pieces of salmon without crowding, heat the canola oil over high heat.
Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. When the oil just begins to smoke, place the salmon in the pan, flesh side down. Sear for 4 minutes. The fillets should develop a nice brown crust. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and turn the fillets. Cook for 1 more minute. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.
Drain any excess oil from the pan. Return to the stove on medium heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. When it begins to froth, add the ramps and season with salt to taste. Cook the ramps for 2 minutes, stirring as they wilt. Add the peas and chicken stock and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice.
Place the salmon fillets on a plate and spoon the ramp and pea mixture over each one.