Roasted Salmon with Speck and Leeks

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes

Salmon recipes are versatile choices that work well for an impromptu dinner with guests. Quickly done yet with an aura of refinement. Here, I use speck, the more rustic cousin of the Prosciutto di Parma. Serve with Roasted Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes.

Ingredients:

Speck is a cured, smoked meat native to the Alto Adige in Italy. To make speck, a boned pork leg is cured in salt, and spices like laurel and juniper, then intermittently slow-smoked, using pine or juniper wood for several months. Speck’s longer curing time gives it a more intense smoky taste. Speck also renders less fat when cooked. Good quality bacon is a reasonable substitute but in this case you need to discard most of the rendered fat when sauteeing the leeks.

US MeasuresMetric
  • 4 salmon fillets, about 8 oz each
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 lb speck or good quality bacon cut into thin strips
  • 4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and light green parts only)
  • 3-4 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar, or to taste
  • 4 salmon fillets, about 140 g each
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 115 g speck or good quality bacon cut into thin strips
  • 4 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and light green parts only)
  • 3-4 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400° F/200° C.

Massage salmon pieces with a mix of 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

In an ovenproof skillet, cook speck with 1 tablespoon olive oil until it crips, about 2-3 minutes. Remove speck from the skillet and place it on paper towels.

Leave speck rendered fat if any, in the skillet and add 1 tablespoon olive oil to it. Add the leeks, salt, pepper,1 teaspoon fresh thyme and balsamic vinegar. Cook over low heat until the leeks are light brown and soft, about 10 minutes. Take care not to burn leeks. If necessary add a bit of water to it. Spread leeks evenly around the skillet and keep it warm. Set salmon pieces on top of the leeks. Transfer skillet with the leeks and salmon to the oven and roast for about 15 minutes or longer depending on the thickness of the fillets. Salmon should be just a little pink inside and flake easily.

Arrange salmon on top of the leeks on a warmed plate. Top it with the crispy speck. Roasted Rosemary Fingerling Potatoes are a perfect complement.