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Oven-steamed salmon with cucumber 'scales,' peas, and herb mayonnaise

1 skinless, boneless salmon fillet (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)
Canola oil (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 English cucumbers or 3 regular cucumbers, very thinly sliced
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 cup commercial mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon warm water, or to taste
cup chopped mixed parsley, basil, and mint
3 pounds fresh green peas in the shell, shelled, or 1 1/2 pounds sugar snap peas,trimmed with strings removed
1 tablespoon canola oil (for sugar snaps)

1. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan or another large rimmed baking pan with 2 sheets of parchment paper. Have on hand a platter slightly longer than the salmon fillet.

2. Set the salmon, skinned side up, on the paper. Rub the fish with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

3. Cover the fish with another piece of parchment paper, tucking the sides down so it completely encases the fillet. Cover the pan with heavy duty foil, shiny side down.

4. Cook the salmon for 15 minutes or until it is cooked through. Loosen the foil at the edges of the pan and let the salmon cool completely.

5. For the cucumbers: Trim the cucumbers at both ends. Remove the plastic on the English cucumbers, if necessary. On a mandoline or other hand-held slicing machine, cut the cucumbers as thin as possible. Set them aside.

6. For the mayonnaise: In a bowl whisk the mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, and water. Add salt and pepper and enough additional water to make a mixture that holds its shape but pours easily. Stir in the parsley mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

7. Use both sides of the parchment paper to lift the salmon from the baking pan and carefully transfer it to the platter. Tear the parchment and begin removing pieces of the paper until there is no more parchment under the fish.

8. Starting at the widest part of the salmon, arrange a row of cucumbers so they overlap slightly. Continue adding horizontal rows. Cover the cucumbers with a piece of waxed paper, and cover that with wet paper towels and plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 8 hours.

9. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the green peas. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the peas are tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Or, in a large skillet, heat the canola oil and saute the sugar snaps with salt and pepper over high heat for 2 minutes or until the peas are tender.

10. Garnish the fish with the green peas or sugar snaps. Let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving with the sauce.


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