Saturday, February 16, 2013

Broiled Salmon with White Bean, Kale and Bacon Ragoût

Broiled salmon with white bean, kale and bacon ragout

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Broiled salmon is an ideal weeknight dinner. It’s fast, tasty and healthy. So here’s yet another good idea for how to prepare it: pairing the fish with kale, white beans and bacon, a recipe from Fine Cooking’s recent Winter CookFresh publication.

You may wonder why the recipe calls for cooking the bacon in olive oil, since bacon renders fat and the extra oil would seem unnecessary. The reason for doing so is that the oil speeds up cooking and therefore the bacon cooks without rendering as much fat. This makes it more tender and less crispy, which is useful sometimes and provides better texture for this dish.

Broiled Salmon with White Bean, Kale and Bacon Ragoût
Adapted from Fine Cooking

Serves 2

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
¼ lb. thick-cut bacon, cut into thin strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups packed thinly sliced kale leaves (stems removed)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 lb. salmon fillet
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

1. Preheat broiler with oven rack about 6 inches from broiler element.

2. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon renders much of its fat and starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Use a spoon to remove 2 Tbs. of the bacon fat from the skillet and reserve in a small bowl.

Add the garlic to the bacon in the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the garlic starts to sizzle, about 30 seconds. Raise the heat to high, add the kale, and sauté, stirring, until it starts to wilt, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the skillet, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

While the beans are cooking, line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with foil and arrange the salmon, skin side down, on it. Drizzle the reserved bacon fat over the salmon and season with 1/2 tsp. salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Broil until slightly firm to the touch, 7 to 10 minutes for medium (the salmon will be dark pink in the middle). Sprinkle half of the thyme over the salmon. Stir the remaining thyme into the beans and kale and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, spoon equal portions of the beans and kale onto dinner plates and top each with a piece of salmon. Serve immediately.


  1. Beautiful recipe for salmon... I could eat it every day of the week!

  2. Thank you! I was impressed with a number of recipes in the issue of Fine Cooking that I made this from. I hope to read it more often.