Salmon with Saffron-Braised Cucumber and Fennel
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 small fennel bulbs (1 1/2 pounds)—halved, cored and cut into 1/2-inch
- 2 cucumbers—peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or low-sodium broth
- 1 1/2 pounds skinless center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
In a large saucepan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Add the fennel and cook over moderate heat for 2 minutes. Add the cucumbers and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and saffron and cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and cook until the fennel is tender, 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, season the salmon pieces with salt and pepper and dust them lightly with the flour. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the salmon pieces and cook over moderately high heat until barely cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the salmon pieces to the saucepan and cook for 1 minute. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and serve at once.