Sauteed salmon with morels and peas

Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields Serves 4
Sauteed salmon with morels and peas

Slice the morels in half lengthwise and brush or shake off any debris; wash them only if absolutely necessary, and drain thoroughly. Slice the brown mushrooms 1/4-inch thick. Remove the peas from the pods, or if using sugar snaps, trim and string the pods. Blanch the peas in lightly salted water until they’re crisp-tender and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking.


Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms until they begin to color, 2 to 3 minutes, then add the green onion, 1 thyme sprig and a dash of salt and pepper. When the mushrooms begin to release their liquid, add the wine and soy sauce and cook until nearly dry, 1 minute. Add the cream and peas, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.


Meanwhile, season the salmon lightly with salt and pepper and heat the oil in another skillet (preferably nonstick). Cook the salmon over high heat until nicely browned and a skewer slides in easily, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer the salmon to a serving dish or individual plates. Correct the seasoning of the mushroom-pea mixture and spoon it around the salmon. Garnish with more fresh thyme if desired.

Morels, one of the few wild mushrooms to peak in late spring, go particularly well with salmon. Combining a generous portion of morels--cut with commercial mushrooms if your budget dictates--with peas and cream makes a rich vegetable and sauce accompaniment for simply sauteed salmon. Given both the cost of the mushrooms and the richness of the sauce, small portions of salmon are in order; the large filet cuts typical of many fish counters can be cut in half.

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