Crispy Skinned Salmon with Cannellini Beans, Pancetta, Thyme and Peas

This recipe is a mix of my own and a recipe for beans I found in Tana Ramsay’s cookbook ‘Home Made”. Beans are grossly underrated and undervalued. I have recently re-discovered the wonderousness of these small round (oval?) pulses and they are a great alternative to the ol’ tatey mash or rice. You may say, “Laura…this dish looks ‘homey’, and to you I say “you are right, it does… BUT it is jam packed with tasty morsels and a fullness of flavour that you can only find in wholesome home cooked food”. Give it a try!


Crispy Skinned Salmon with Cannellini Beans, Pancetta, Thyme and Peas


4 fillets of salmon with skin on (I normally buy 2 large pieces and cut them in half)

2 tablespoons of thyme, leaves removed and chopped (or a handful from your garden)


2 lemons

1 teaspoon of caster sugar

150g pancetta (Ask the deli to cut the pancetta into a 1cm thick slice to make ‘lardons’ or diced pieces)

2x 400g tins of cannellini beans, drained through a sieve and then rinsed

1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 300ml boiling water

½ cup frozen peas

Extra thyme for garnishing

1. Dice pancetta and add to a hot pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until crisp.

2. Add the drained cannellini beans, peas and 1 tablespoon thyme to pancetta and mix together. Season with pepper (Do not add salt as the pancetta and chicken stock are both very salty!).

3. Add the chicken stock in boiling water to the beans, and simmer gently.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the salmon fillets. Sprinkle a cutting board with the remaining thyme, salt and pepper. Coat the three non-skin sides by rolling the salmon across the board. Repeat with remaining salmon fillets. Turn the salmon skin side up and rub a generous amount of salt into the skin. This will make it nice and crispy.

5. Heat a griddle pan to hot, cut the lemons in half and sprinkle with a pinch of caster sugar. Place on griddle pan to char. Keep and eye on them as you want them to caramelise not burn.

6. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the salmon fillets and place them in the hot pan skin side down. Cook them 90% of the cooking time on the skin side. When the salmon starts cooking through the fillet, turn it over and cook to your liking (I like mine a bit pink in the middle).

7. Check the seasoning of the beans, then mash 1 corner to help thicken the sauce. Serve on a platter with the beans mounded in a pile, salmon sitting tantalizingly on top and garnish with fresh thyme leaves and a drizzle of olive oil.

Serves 4

Mr McDonald’s remarks… “Sooo tasty!  A nice glass of white wine would compliment it well”.



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