During the summers of my grade-school years, my mom would send me to stay with my Grandparents in Brooklyn. I loved being there. I got to be an only child for a few months and had my Grandmother all to myself. My fondest childhood memories are of those summers.
My Grandmother and I had a daily routine and we stuck by it, for the most part. I would wake up and crawl into her bed where we both patiently waited for Grandpa to bring us breakfast. We ate breakfast in bed every morning and it was always the same: ½ of a perfectly sectioned grapefruit (served with a demitasse spoon) and a very watered down (but perfectly sweetened) espresso. Yes, my relationship with coffee started at a very young age.
Grandma never learned to drive so we walked everywhere. After breakfast we would head out to the food market or go on errands. Afterwards I would play outside, she would watch her “stories” on TV, and at 5 pm dinner preparation would begin. I remember the glorious smells that would come from that small apartment kitchen!
Dinner usually involved some sort of fish. At that time whiting and flounder were fresh and readily available so they were always on the menu a few times each week. My Grandmother made the most amazing whiting salad. It was a simple dish using cold poached whiting tossed with garlic, salt, fresh lemon and a sprinkle of parsley.
That whiting salad sparked my love for cold fish. It may be in my head or just my taste buds, but all cold fish takes me back to that whiting salad. I often make an extra fillet of fish for dinner just to eat it cold the next day for lunch.
Nowadays my mother has taken the reins from my Grandmother. Because fresh whiting is hard to come by, she has quite masterfully perfected poached salmon. It’s become a new family favorite and our go-to Sunday brunch or special occasion dish. This year I will be making it for her on Mother’s Day.
If you’ve never tried poaching fish, you must! It’s so simple to make and doesn’t leave the house smelling fishy or a mess to clean up. It’s also a dish that pairs well with a creamy dipping sauce.
For my sauce I combined antioxidant-rich Wild Blueberries with creamy crème fraiche, shallots, and fresh herbs. The tangy flavor really brightens up the salmon, providing both gorgeous color and creamy texture, with just a hint of sweet. The perfect combination in my book!
I think the Wild Blueberry Crème Fraiche sauce really makes this dish! It’s a delicious and unique way to balance the intense flavor of Wild Blueberries and the delicate nature of any poached fish. This cold poached salmon is perfect for Mother’s Day brunch and would be lovely paired with steamed asparagus and roasted potato wedges. I suggest dipping the potatoes into the Wild Blueberry sauce as well!