Salmon with Creamy Leeks and Cannellini Beans

Fish is pretty much your best bet for a quick weeknight meal — it’s healthy and fuss free.   Salmon being one of PK’s favorites, I’ve come up with pretty much a million different ways to fix it.  Tonight, it was simply prepared with salt and pepper, then topped with leeks softened with pancetta and served with creamy cannellini beans and potatoes.  PK tip: if you’re not all that into fish, serving it with potatoes or beans like these really mellows out the fish.  It’s a good first dish for the fish phobic.

While I started with dried beans, if you’re doing this on a weeknight and don’t have the time to soak the beans during the day (about 4 hours), I give my full permission to do the canned thing.  Although for pete’s sake, rinse those things. 

Cube one or two small, peeled potatoes, 2 cloves of garlic, a small tomato and place in a small pan with just enough water to cover, add salt, and if you’ve got it, a bay leaf and maybe a bit of thyme (a fresh sprig would be perfect).  Bring to a boil and simmer until potatoes are almost falling apart.  Remove the bay leaf and thyme stem, if it’s in there, and without draining the potatoes, crush them lightly with a potato masher.  Add in about 1 1/2 cups of the cooked cannellini beans, a healthy drizzle of olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and some pepper.  Give it another taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

While the potatoes are cooking, crisp up a slice or two of pancetta (or regular bacon) then lower the heat and add in a sliced leek (white and light green parts only).  When the leek is softened, after about 10 minutes over medium low heat, add in 1/4 cup of cream.  Taste for seasoning and adjust.

In a grill pan (or on the grill, if you’ve got the energy), cook your salmon filets for 10 to 12 minutes, or just until beginning to flake. 

To serve, place a generous spoon of the bean and potato mixture on a warmed plate, top with the salmon filet and spoon over some of that lovely leek sauce.

Nom, nom, nom.

Playlist included El Perro del Mar’s Change of Heart.

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