One of my favorite chefs, Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, recently posted on Instagram a dish he was creating of raw salmon fillet with cabbage. That reminded me of a similar dish by another great chef, Michel Guerard of Les Prés d’Eugénie – La griblette de Bar au jus d’Oignon rosé et fumet de chou vert. I know that is a mouthful (!) but it is a very Michel play on words. A griblette is a larded piece of meat which you would normally serve with cabbage and the jus from the meat. Michel turned that traditional concept inside out by using fish rather than meat and a ‘jus’ from red onions!
Michel wrote out the recipe for Adrienne because we were so stunned by the combination of tastes and textures when we first had it in 2006. I have tweaked it here to make it more approachable and less time consuming, the onions take the most time and they can cook almost unattended. I think the salmon stands up to the cabbage a bit better than the sea bass, which Michel recommends, and using pointed cabbage (also known as Sweetheart or Hispi cabbage) which can be very quickly sautéed cuts down on the prep time. After making the jus I strained the onions out and quickly fried them in butter to serve as a garnish. You can find the original recipe in Michel’s own handwriting in the book Cooking with Adrienne.
Salmon fillet with Cabbage and Fried Onions
The unexpected combination of lightly cooked salmon and briefly sautéed cabbage combined with the red onion jus creates a completely new way to serve these two old favorites.
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, in total
- 3 red onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Sprig of fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 cups water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Champagne or Banyuls vinegar
- 1 small Pointed Cabbage, also known as Sweetheart or Hispi, sliced in ribbons
- 4 salmon fillets, 4-5 ounces each
- Fresh chervil or parsley
- Step 1 Sauce
- Step 2 Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium-high heat. When it foams, add the onions and thyme, saute for about 5 minutes until onions are tender and translucent. Don’t let them brown. Deglaze the pan with white wine vinegar and reduce until almost dry. Add the water and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes until the onions are soft and sweet tasting. Strain through a sieve, reserving liquid. Set onions aside.
- Step 3 Return the onion liquid to the pan and bring to a boil, reduce to about 1/2 cup. Beat in 3 tablespoons of butter and boil vigorously for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and a dash of Champagne vinegar as need to counter the sweetness. Keep warm or, if making ahead, refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before reheating.
- Step 4 Onions
- Step 5 Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a pan over high heat. When it foams add the onions from making the sauce. Cook until crunchy but not burned, about 10 minutes. Drain of paper towel.
- Step 6 Fish
- Step 7 Pre-heat oven to 350F/185C. Set each fillet of salmon on a piece of foil large enough to encase it. Season with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Wrap the foil tightly around each fillet and place them on a baking sheet. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to continue cooking for five more minutes.
- Step 8 Cabbage
- Step 9 While the fish is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter foams stir in the cabbage, making sure that it is well coated in butter. Cook for 5 minutes or until the cabbage is tender but with a slight crunch.
- Step 10 Presentation
- Step 11 Divide the cabbage equally among four plates. Top with the salmon fillets and dress with the warmed sauce. Garnish with the fried onions and the chervil or parsley.