The key to this dish, according to chef Neil Perry, is to make sure the salmon skin is completely crisp. "To be honest," he says, "I've always been more of an ocean trout lover than a salmon lover—but I can be persuaded when the salmon skin is crispy and the flesh is just perfectly rare in the middle." Another secret is the herbed yogurt, which is tangy, creamy and lively, and an excellent accompaniment to the luscious fish.
Slideshow: More Salmon Recipes
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped mint
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 sage leaves
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
One 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped and juices reserved
Four 6-ounce skin-on salmon fillets
How to Make It
In a small bowl, mix the yogurt with the cilantro, mint and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cover the herbed yogurt and refrigerate.
In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the sage leaves and sliced garlic and cook over moderate heat until the garlic just begins to turn lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Add the chickpeas and the chopped tomatoes and their juices and season with salt and pepper. Simmer the chickpeas and tomatoes over moderately low heat until the sauce thickens, about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet until very hot. Rub the salmon with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the salmon to the skillet, skin side down, and cook over moderately high heat until the skin is very crisp, about 4 minutes. Turn the fillets and cook until light pink throughout, about 3 minutes longer.
Spoon the chickpeas onto plates and top with the salmon, skin side up. Garnish with a dollop of the herbed yogurt and serve immediately, passing the remaining yogurt at the table.
Pinot Noir is a classic match with salmon.
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