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Salmon Kale Salad

With a Lemon-Caper Dressing

This might be THE best salmon I’ve ever made! It’s perfectly moist and meltingly tender, all thanks to a technique known as sous vide cooking. Sous vide cooking takes out all of the guesswork, giving you perfect results every time. It sounds more intense than it is! Essentially, it’s the process of sealing food in an airtight bag and cooking it in a temperature-controlled water bath. The food slowly heats up until it reaches the temperature of the water. Since the water never exceeds the desired doneness temperature, it’s virtually impossible to overcook!

When @crockpotuk challenged me to create a healthy, fuss-free meal using the Crockpot Turbo Express, I was immediately drawn to the sous vide function. However, it boasts many other settings – 14 to be precise, including the titular turbo express function, which reduces cooking time by 40%*. I can’t recommend the Turbo Express enough – I’ve used it 5 times in less than a month! Click here to buy it.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Fish

Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 salmon fillets (approx. 140g each)
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 400 g whole baby new potatoes, washed
  • 200 g cavolo nero (Tuscan kale) or kale, washed and dried

For the lemon caper vinaigrette:

  • 4 tbsps lemon juice
  • 2 tbsps maple syrup
  • 2 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps capers, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Instructions

To make this dish, you will need the Crockpot Turbo Express – buy yours here. You will also need a vacuum sealer and bags or heavy-duty ziplock bags.

  1. Place the salmon fillets, lemon zest, fresh thyme and extra-virgin olive oil on a plate. Season generously with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper and gently rub the seasoning all over the salmon fillets.
  2. If using a vacuum sealer, place the salmon fillets in a single layer in a vacuum sealable bag. Vacuum seal the bag according to sealer instructions.
  3. If using a ziplock bag, use the water displacement method: place the salmon fillets in a single layer in a heavy-duty ziplock bag and zip the bag almost all the way, leaving a 1-inch opening. Lower the bag into a large bowl filled with water, ensuring that the opening remains above the water level. The water pressure will force the air out of the bag. Once most of the air is out, seal the bag shut.
  4. Let the salmon rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the fridge overnight. Please don’t skip this step! In essence, we’re brining the salmon, which will give it a smooth, buttery texture. Skipping the brining stage could result in the salmon being mushy and watery.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the potatoes: place the Cooking Pot into the Heating Base of the Crockpot Turbo Express. Add 250 ml water and insert the Steaming Rack. Place the potatoes on the Steaming Rack.
  6. Put the Lid on and rotate it into the ‘Locked’ position then turn the Steam Release Dial to the ‘Seal’ position.
  7. Press STEAM, set the time and pressure to 8 minutes and HIGH respectively, then press TURBO PRESSURE. Turbo Pressure function reduces the cooking time by 40%, helping you make delicious food  fast! Press START/STOP to begin cooking.
  8. Once cooked, press START/STOP and turn the Steam Release Dial to release the steam. Unlock the lid, transfer the potatoes to a chopping board and let cool.
  9. Fill the Cooking Pot with warm water and place it inside the Heating Base. Press SOUS VIDE, set the temperature and timer to 50c and 45 minutes respectively.
  10. Put the lid on (it does not need to be locked) and open the Steam Release Valve. Press START/STOP and let the water heat up. In the meantime, quarter the cooled potatoes and set them aside.
  11. Once heated, insert the sealed salmon fillets into the water and put the lid on, again in the unlocked position. Cook for 35 to 45 mins, for fillets that are 1-inch-thick or less, or 45 to 55 mins, for fillets between 1 and 2 inches. For a comprehensive guide on sous vide salmon temperatures, click here.
  12. Meanwhile, remove the stems from the cavolo nero. Stack the leaves and slice them into thin, long ribbons. Transfer the kale to a large bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Massage the kale for 1 minute, or until it just starts to wilt. Emphasis on the just – the only thing worse than tough kale is mushy kale! Set aside.
  13. Make the lemon-caper dressing by combining all of the dressing ingredients. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  14. Dress the kale with some of the dressing (to your liking) and toss. Add the quartered potatoes and more dressing and toss again. Dish the salad out onto individual plates or a large platter.
  15. By this point, the salmon will be ready. Remove the bag from the Cooking Pot and gently remove the fillets from the bag. They will be very very tender. Carefully peel away the skin. Top the salad with the salmon, serve and enjoy!

Notes

*vs. when cooking in the CSC062 using the high pressure setting.

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