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Salmon in Avocado Sauce on a Fennel and Sweet Potato Nest

This is such a pretty dish to look at as well as tasty to eat and full of good fats in both the salmon and avocado.
Salmon in Avocado Sauce on a Fennel and Sweet Potato Nest
It is perfect when hosting a light meal for guests - just make sure not to overcook the delicate soft pink salmon and only very gently stir it through the velvety vibrant green aocado sauce so it doesn't fall apart too much.

Salmon is famously rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, high in protein and a good source of vitamins B12, B6 and D. Likewise, avocado is a powerhouse of heart healthy fats, vitamins K, C, B5, B6 and E as well as folate and potassium.

The soft textures of the fish and sauce contrast amazingly with the slight crispiness of the fennel and sweet potato 'nest' underneath. I use a julienne peeler to make my 'straw' for the nest but finely sliced into matchsticks or a food processor would probably do a similar job.

Fennel pairs so well with fish and is high in antioxidants, vitamin C and fibre. Sweet potato adds another bright shade to the dish as well as sweetness to the flavour. Its bright orange colour is indicator enough of its antioxidant content but it is also an excellent source of vitamins C, D and B6 and boosts iron levels and magnesium, an important anti-stress mineral.

I use leeks in both the sauce and the nest to bring cohesiveness to the dish. Leeks have a substantial polyphenol content which helps to combat oxidative stress and inflammation. Along with its close relatives, onions and garlic, it has been purported to protect against certain cancers.

There seems like a large number of components to the dish but it is surprisingly simple and much can be prepared in advance to minimise kitchen time when friends are around to eat.

Salmon in Avocado Sauce on a Fennel and Sweet Potato Nest

Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Refined Sugar-free

Serves 2


2 salmon fillets (approx 240g), cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/4 leek, washed, dried and sliced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
coconut oil

1/2 medium sweet potato, peeled and julienned (sliced into skinny long matchsticks)
1 small fennel bulb, finely sliced into skinny long matchsticks (keep the fronds for garnish)
1/4 leek, washed, dried and sliced into thin discs
olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

coriander and fennel leaves (fronds) to garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 190 degress celsius, 375 degress farenheit.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment .
3. In a large bowl combine the nest ingredients of sweet potato, fennel, leek. Drizzle with 2tbsp olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Massage oil and seasoning in to coat everything evenly.

4. Spread the nest ingredients evenly across the prepared baking sheet and bake in pre-heated oven for 20minutes, giving everything a quick mix up halfway, or as required if edges start getting too crispy.

5. Heat a frying pan over medium to high heat and season the salmon cubes.
6. Pan-fry the salmon, approx 2 minutes per side of each cube until browned all over - be careful not to over cook.

7. Transfer salmon pieces to a bowl, leaving the oil released from the salmon in the pan.
8. Using the retained oil  return the pan to a medium heat. If there is not enough oil, add 1/2 - 1 tbsp of coconut oil.
9. Add the leeks to the pan and sautee for a few minutes until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and chili and continue to sautee for another 2 minutes.
10. Add the avocado and lemon juice, continuing to cook for another 2 minutes.
11. Remove pan from heat and transfer sauce mix to a blender, processor or use a stick blender in an appropriate container, to blitz sauce until smooth.
12. Return sauce to pan on a low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
13. Add salmon to the sauce and gently stir through and allow to reheat.

14. Check one more time for seasoning and adjust before serving on a pile of the oven crisped nest.

15. Garnish with the retained fennel fronds and coriander leaves sprinkled on top.


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