Crushed Peas with Poached Salmon


This fresh update of English mushy peas gets its zesty zing from basil vinaigrette.


  • 4 skinless salmon fillets (5 ounces each, about 1 inch thick)

  • 1 leek, halved and rinsed well

  • ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns, plus freshly ground pepper

  • Coarse salt

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and ¼ cup lemon juice (from 2 lemons)

  • ½ teaspoon sugar

  • cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups shelled fresh garden peas (from 2 pounds in pods)

  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh mint leaves


  1. Place salmon in a pot, and add leek, peppercorns, 2 teaspoons salt, and 4 cups water. Bring to just under a boil, reduce heat, and cook at a bare simmer until salmon is just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from water, and cover with parchment to keep moist.

  2. Puree sliced basil and lemon zest in a food processor. Add sugar and lemon juice, and pulse to combine to make vinaigrette. With machine running, add oil and season with salt.

  3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the peas. Reduce heat, and vigorously simmer until tender and bright green, about 4 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a bowl. Add 2 tablespoons basil vinaigrette, and crush with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper, then add mint.

  4. Divide peas among 4 plates, and top with salmon. Drizzle with more vinaigrette, and garnish with basil sprigs.

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