Pan-Fried Salmon with Pesto, & Potato Rosti

This is a lovely little supper because it combines fresh summery flavours (salmon always tastes like summer days to me) with a little bit of rich indulgence in the form of the crispy potato rosti. If you’ve never had rosti before, mine is a very simplified version which consists of grated potato formed into little patties, with a few other tasty ingredients thrown in, and fried.

2 salmon steaks – either the chunky or the flat ones will do, just remember to adjust the cooking time accordingly – the flat ones will cook faster
3 tbsp pesto
Olive oil
Salt and black pepper
Lime juice
2 smallish potatoes
A handful of Parmesan
1 egg
Salad, to serve

Serves 2.

First of all, pop the salmon steaks in a bowl, drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and set to one side. Next, to prepare the rosti, peel the potatoes and grate them with a cheesegrater – don’t use the really fine side, but the wider holes that you might use to grate Cheddar. Don’t worry too much about grating the last bits of each potato, just stop when it gets too difficult to hold! Once you’ve got a plate of potato gratings, scoop up a handful at a time and squeeze well over the sink – the more water you squeeze out, the crispier the potatoes will go when they’re fried – then place the squeezed potato gratings into a different bowl. Mix with the grated Parmesan and a bit of salt and pepper, then carefully separate the egg and add the white to the bowl (you don’t need the yolk for this recipe). Mix well until you have a thick mixture that clumps together easily.

Next, put a frying pan on a medium heat and add some butter and a drizzle of olive oil. With clean dry hands, shape the potato mixture into patties about the size of a burger, making sure that they’re quite flat so that they cook through quickly. Add each one to the frying pan and get them sizzling.

Meanwhile, put a griddle pan (or another frying pan, or even a thin-bottomed saucepan if that’s all you’ve got) on the heat and add another drizzle of olive oil. Let it get hot before you add the salmon, which should sizzle and hiss as soon as it goes into the pan.
Now you need to keep an eye on both pans and turn both the salmon and the rosti as they cook to get an even colour on all sides. If you put the rosti in first, the two parts should be ready at about the same time. You can cut the salmon in half to check if you’re worried, but it does cook very quickly.

To serve, mix the pesto with a glug of olive oil, then drizzle over the pan-fried salmon. Add the rosti and a bit of fresh green salad on the side.