Vanilla-vermouth-marinated salmon with green beans

Main course: Serves 6. Total time: 30 minutes plus marinading
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Indy Lifestyle Online

A fat bunch of orchid vanilla pods is one of the most welcome presents of food I have received.The very last ones that I still have are about to be turned into kilner jars of vanilla sugar. But not before one last zany venture using them to scent salmon, a strangely alluring conceit that must be tried if you haven't already done so.

A fat bunch of orchid vanilla pods is one of the most welcome presents of food I have received.The very last ones that I still have are about to be turned into kilner jars of vanilla sugar. But not before one last zany venture using them to scent salmon, a strangely alluring conceit that must be tried if you haven't already done so.

1 vanilla pod, slit
225 ml vermouth
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 shallots, peeled and sliced thinly into rounds
6 x 180-200g salmon fillets, skin-on
groundnut oil
sea salt, black pepper
400g green beans, topped and tailed
75g unsalted butter, diced


Open out the vanilla pod and run a knife along the inside to remove the seeds. Select a shallow container that will hold the salmon fillets snugly. In it mix the seeds with the vermouth and lemon juice. Add the shallots, and chop up and add the vanilla pod. Place the salmon fillets in this marinade, cover and chill for several hours, turning them halfway through.

Just before grilling the salmon, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Transfer the fillets to a plate. Remove and discard the pieces of vanilla pod from the marinade and pour it into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer until reduced to a couple of tablespoons.

Heat a double ridged griddle over a medium-low heat. Brush the salmon fillets all over with oil and season them. Grill skin-side down for 6-7 minutes, then turn and grill for another 3-4 minutes, or until firm to the touch. At the same time, add the green beans to the boiling water, bring back to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes until just tender, then drain them. Rewarm the marinade, season it and whisk in the butter. Serve the salmon on warm plates. Place a pile of green beans to the side, and spoon the sauce over them.

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