Late-harvest greens, like Swiss chard, make it easier to deal with the short, dark days of the year. You can’t wait for dinner when they’re on the menu, and that’s a good thing! From Cooking Like a Master Chef.
This dish is happily comforting and if you want to try it with rainbow chard instead of Swiss, the colors just pop off the plate. And the parsnips are irresistible, a little peppery and smelling like vanilla—truly the badass sisters of carrots.
PREP TIME: ABOUT 15 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: ABOUT 1 HOUR
1 pound parsnips, peeled and chopped
4 cups whole milk
5 sprigs fresh thyme
8 ounces slab bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and
chopped (about 1 pound)
1 (25 fluid oz.) bottle merlot or similar red wine
4 skin-on salmon fillets (1 1/2 pounds total)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1. In large saucepan, cover the parsnips with the milk. Add the thyme and bring the mixture to a brisk simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the parsnips are tender. Working in batches, if necessary, puree the parsnip mixture in a blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Return the puree to the pan and cover to keep warm.
2. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat to render the fat. When the bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered, add the onion and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes, or until translucent. Add the Swiss chard and cook for about 5 minutes or until tender, stirring to mix the chard with the bacon and onion. Set aside, covered, to keep warm.
3. In another saucepan, bring the wine to a rapid simmer and cook until it has reduced to a saucelike consistency and is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take about 10 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
5. Score the skin side of each salmon fillet with three lengthwise slits. This will allow the fat to escape and make the skin especially crispy.
6. In a deep, oven-safe sauté pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When hot, sear the salmon, skin side down, for 3 minutes. Transfer to the oven and cook for about 7 minutes, or until the salmon is just cooked through.
7. Spoon parsnip puree in the center of each of four serving plates and top with the Swiss chard hash. Angle a salmon fillet, skin side up, on the hash and drizzle the wine reduction around the plate.