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Salmon with Mustard Sauce and a Cannellini Bean Ragu

Salmon with Mustard Sauce and a Cannellini Bean Ragu
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Salmon is a true workhorse in the world of seafood.  It is on menus everywhere and seems to come from an endless number of places around the world.  On my most recent visit to the market to pick up the fish to make this dish, I saw no less than 5 different salmon offerings ranging in price from 19.99 lb. for Norwegian Wild-Caught Salmon to Farm-Raised Fish from Chile at 7.99 a lb.  In between, there was Canadian Wild Caught and Farm Raised and Pacific Salmon of undermined origin.  Salmon is, of course, a marvel of nutrition containing those all-important Omega 3 Fatty Acids.   If somehow you’ve missed the news, these particular Fatty Acids lower your risk of heart disease.  But that isn’t half of what they do according to WebMD.com.  They can curb stiffness and the pain of arthritis in the joints.  Countries where they are consumed at high levels have lower levels of depression.  They aid in Baby Development, improve lung function among Asthmatics, reduce symptoms of Attention Deficit Syndrome, improving children’s mental skills like thinking, remembering and learning and finally, there is even research that suggests Omega 3s protect against Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  If you haven’t immediately run out and bought a giant piece of salmon, caveat emptor: Farm raised salmon is not the fount of Omega 3s that Wild Salmon is.  So when you buy salmon, try to buy wild caught if your budget will allow.


One of the delights of salmon is how incredibly easy it is to cook. It takes no time at all under a hot broiler or poached in a court bouillon.  The recipe I am sharing today is a riff on one I found quite by accident.  I had taken a shine to a recipe for Roast Chicken Cacciatore invented by a well-known TV chef and featured in Food and Wine Magazine.  The chef will remain nameless because the Chicken was a disaster.  But there, on the same page and pictured on the next one, was a recipe for Salmon served atop a Cannellini Bean Stew.  I took some liberties with the original ingredients.  I added smoked bacon lardons, changed up the greens and altered sizes and proportions of everything else. The result was a dish that combined the lushness of the beans and tomatoes with the sweetness of the fish and the smokiness of bacon.  So I no longer think the original dish is very much like mine.  And my TV chef’s identity does not have to be revealed.   But like the original, it has the distinct advantage of being a one-dish meal.  It also can be halved with impunity.  Try it one night with some crusty country bread.  I am fairly sure you will make it again.   Here is the recipe:

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