A July Fourth tradition: salmon and peas
Salmon and peas have been paired in New England on July Fourth for centuries because the salmon used to run just as fresh peas came up. Today, if you want salmon, you can buy it year round, farm-raised from a number of coasts, including the east (there’s no wild Atlantic salmon left). Or buy wild salmon, still fished in the Pacific. Wild salmon can cost more than $20 a pound, farm-raised up to $14.
The traditional pairing is still appealing, the pink flesh of the rich fish and bright, green peas perfectly suited to one another. In this presentation, sauteed leeks, shiitake mushrooms, and peas form a bed for seared fillets, the rich flesh a nice contrast to the sweet leeks.
The next day, boil a pot of fettuccine and toss it with some of the salmon and leek mixture, adding a little cream and some pasta cooking liquid to make a light sauce. Supper on the first night feels dressed up and elegant. The second is more back porch. You can take salmon and green peas anywhere.
Lisa Zwirn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.