Salmon in Galangal-Tomato Compote

Salmon with a tangy tomato sauce anyone? Yum! This recipe will certainly change up your salmon routine for the better. 

I’m a tomato-lover, but Adrian and I somehow still have a lot of frozen whole tomatoes from our summer garden. Because they’re frozen, they’ve lost most of their texture, which means they’re perfect for sauces! I saw this recipe by Jean-Georges Vongerichten and knew it would be a perfect match to bring back some summery deliciousness to my winter plate.

I altered the original recipe to include canned crushed tomatoes, since that’s what mine looked like after defrosting), and to make the recipe a little easier. I also substituted ground mace for mace blades because I haven’t yet seen them at the store (although I will look for them from now on). If you don't have mace, consider nutmeg, and if you don't have galangal, minced ginger should also work well.

Even if you follow the original recipe to a T, it is soooo worth the little bit of extra effort. This is seriously some mouthwatering tasty goodness. 

Salmon in Galangal-Tomato Compote

Time: 1 Hour  
Serves 4

1/3 cup coriander seeds
1 tsp cardamom seeds
1 star anise pod
1 whole clove
1 tsp ground mace
Cayenne pepper
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, lightly smashed
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp minced peeled galangal
1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 large mango, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
10 large basil leaves, plus shredded basil, for garnish
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Four 6-ounce skinless salmon fillets

In a medium skillet, combine the coriander seeds, cardamom seeds, star anise and whole clove and toast over moderately high heat, shaking the skillet frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the spices to a plate to cool. Finely grind the spices with 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne and 1 tsp mace.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, 2 tablespoons of the ground spices and the galangal, lemon zest and brown sugar and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the rice vinegar and cook until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, water, mango and whole basil leaves and simmer over low heat for 40 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and cayenne; keep warm.

Season the salmon with salt and cayenne. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the salmon and cook over moderately high heat until browned on the bottom, 3 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on the second side, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour the tomato compote into a strainer set over a bowl. Mound the compote in warmed soup plates, top with the salmon fillets and spoon the strained tomato broth around. Garnish with the shredded basil and serve.