- 6 pounds fresh spinach, stemmed and washed but not dried, or four 10-ounce packages frozen leaf spinach, thawed
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
- 2 tablespoons Pernod of other anise liqueur
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 boneless sides of salmon, skinned (4 1/2 to 5 pounds total)
- 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 large lemon, thinly sliced
- If using fresh spinach, in a large Dutch oven, wilt in batches over high heat, stirring with tongs. As each batch is done, transfer it to a colander set over a plate. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, gently squeeze it to remove some of the water but leave the spinach moist.
- Coarsely chop the fresh or thawed spinach. Heat the oil in the Dutch oven, add the onion and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Stir the spinach into the pot along with the cream, stock and Pernod and simmer simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
- Generously butter 2 large shallow baking dishes. Divide the creamed spinach between the dishes. Place 1 side of salmon, skinned side down, in each dish on top of the spinach, tucking the thin tail ends under the fillets if necessary. Rub each fillet with 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice and brush with the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the baking dishes to the oven and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the salmon is just cooked through and the spinach is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let stand for about 5 minutes.
- Using a spatula, cut each fillet into 6 pieces. Spoon the spinach onto warmed plates, top with the salmon and garnish with lemon slices.
Pair with a rich, California Chardonnay or a nutty white Burgundy.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.