One of my favorite restaurants in Asheville, North Carolina is Fig Bistro. It is an intimate French-inflected establishment with sage walls, a small bar area and a pleasant outdoor dining area. The small menu showcases seasonal ingredients and a few French classics. One of my favorite meals at Fig was this salmon with swiss chard and couscous. The salmon was cooked to perfection with a salted crust., The wilted red chard and couscous played well with it. It was all brought together in a bowl with a rich, lemony beurre blanc. I knew that I would have to try to duplicate it at home. After two tries, I have come close to the taste that I remember and love. —lakelurelady
For the beurre blanc: Add shallots, wine and lemon uice to a saucepan and cook over high heat until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Add the cream and heat until it bubbles. Reduce the heat to low. Add the butter a few cubes at a time and whisk on and off the heat until incorpoorated. Continue with a few cubes at a time until all of the butter is added and the mixture is fully emulsified and has a creamy consistency. Season with salt, white pepper and chives. This will stay warm if you are using it within a 30 minute period. Just whisk it occasionally.
For the Swiss Chard: Wash the chard thoroughly i a sink full of cold water. Remove the stems and chop the greens. Drain the greens. Using some of the stems, chop them along with the onion. Saute stems and onion in a skillet coated with olive oil until onion and stems are softened. Add the drained greens and salt and pepper to taste. Cover the skillet and cook the greens just until they are wilted.
For the Couscous: Follow the instructions on the box or cook couscous in a pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes or until it is cooke through. Drain and season with salt and pepper.
For the Salmon: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Sprinkle walt on top side of salmon fillets. Heat oil and butter in a skillet over high heat. When very hot, add salmon fillets salted side down and cook over high heat until browned and crisp. Turn fillets over. Place pan in oven and roast until they are just flaky, about 5 to 6 minutes. Assemble: This dish is best plated in 2 large individual bowls. Add couscous to each bowl. Top with greens. Place salmon fillet on top of each. Drizzle beurre blanc around the edges. Garnish with additional chives if desired.
Assemble: This dish is best plated in two large individual bowls. Add couscous to each bowl. Top with greens. Place salmon fillets on top of each. Drizzle beurre blanc around the edges of the dish. Garnish with additional chives if desired.
I have been a serious cook from the time I first took an introductory course in French Cooking from Irena Chalmers, a cookbook author and instructor at the CIA. My first love is French cooking but I also value the importance of fresh local ingredients. The freshest ingredients seasoned right and prepared with love will result in the perfect meal.