Salmon Wrapped in Leeks with Warm Red Bell Pepper Puree Recipe

  • 4 large leeks, root end trimmed
  • 4 (8-ounce) salmon fillets, bones removed
  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Chervil
  1. Cut off and discard the green end of the leeks, leaving about 8 inches of white. Clean thoroughly. Fill with water a pan large enough to accommodate the length of the leeks. Bring to a boil. Place the leeks in the water, lower the heat, and simmer for 8 to 12 minutes, or until soft. Drain, cool, and split the leeks lengthwise only to the center of the stalk so that the leeks can be opened flat and the stalk can be separated.
  2. For each piece of salmon, overlap 2 of the largest and prettiest pieces of stalk, smooth (interior) side up, to form an oblong large enough to wrap completely around the salmon. Place the salmon, boned side down, in the middle of the leek pieces. Wrap each salmon fillet in the leek by folding each end of the leek up and over the entire salmon fillet, so that no part of the fish is exposed and the leek ends meet in the center of the package. The seams of the leek package should look like the back of an envelope. Place the packets on a plate, seam side down, and refrigerate until ready to cook. Slice the interiors of the remaining cooked leeks and reserve for garnish.
  3. Grill the peppers over very hot coals or a gas flame until blackened, about 10 minutes. Place in a paper or plastic bag and steam for 10 to 15 minutes. Peel off the charred skin with your fingers or a sharp paring knife. Remove the stems and seeds and cut the peppers in half (Peppers can be prepared up to a week in advance and stored in a jar filled with oil to cover until ready to use.)
  4. Place the peppers in a food processor and process to a thick puree. Scrape into a saucepan. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat the sauce and keep warm.
  5. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator about 15 minutes before grilling. Generously brush all over with olive oil. Grill, seam side up first, over hot coals, 4 to 5 minutes per side, carefully turning.
  6. Place each salmon-leek package, folded side down, on 4 plates. Spoon the sauce around the salmon and garnish with the remaining leeks and chervil.