It all started with the salmon. I've made it a point to challenge my creativity whenever I get the chance to do so and sometimes a dish imagined "on-the-fly," actually turns out tasting delicious. That was, in my opinion, the case with this dish I prepared with the help of one of my favorite food books, "The Flavor Bible," by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. The book aids in the match-making of flavors and allows your culinary imagination to really run wild. I combined the following ingredients with temperature, texture, acidity and flavor in mind. This dish is made with a Dijon and lemon seared salmon on top of a white bean, basil, red pepper and pickled onion salad. —MrVillalobos
First, you want to pickle the red onion which can be done days in advance or the first thing you do before starting this dish, leaving them nice and crunchy. Cut the onion in half and then slice thinly on the grain. place in a container and add 2 pinches of salt and the 1/4 cup of white vinegar or enough to submerge the onions completely and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, the juice of half a lemon 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of cayenne and salt and pepper. Add the piece of salmon and let marinade skin-side-up.
If using canned white beans, run under cold water in a strainer and add to a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, diced red bell pepper, 1 pressed garlic clove, chiffonaded basil leaves. Salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
After the salmon is marinated, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a pan to medium-high and sear the two salmon filets skin-side down for about 5 minutes and then flip and cook for about a minute on other side.
Right before plating, add most of the pickled onion to the white bean salad and toss. Place a mound of the white bean salad on a plate and the salmon filets on top. Garnish the top of the salmon with a few pickled onions and a couple, whole basil leaves.