The Five Fat Challenge: Salmon-Avocado Caponata with Pistachios and Black Olive Oil


Franklin Becker and Peter Kaminsky

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salmon avocado

I first prepared this dish for Dr. Oz. The idea was to incorporate five essential fats in one dish.

So here you have salmon, olives, pistachios, canola oil, and avocado, all lifted up the ladder of flavor with a sweet, tart, slightly spicy, and creamy-textured version of caponata--one of my favorite condiments.

Serves 4

For the black olive oil:

  • 6 black kalamata olives
  • 4 black cerignola olives
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

For the caponata:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 whole Japanese eggplant (unpeeled), diced
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 medium yellow squash, diced
  • 2 whole plum tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins, soaked
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon

For the salmon:

  • 1 salmon fillet (1 1/2 pounds)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, finely grated with a microplane

To make the black olive oil:

In a food processor, combine the kalamata and cerignola olives and the olive oil. Blend until smooth. Let sit for 1 hour to settle.

To make the caponata:

In a small skillet over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sweat until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme and increase the heat to medium. Cook until the eggplant is fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Add the squash, tomatoes, and raisins and cook until the mixture begins to break down and come together, about 5 minutes. Add the avocado, parsley, mint, and vinegar, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and cook for 2 minutes to heat the avocado through. Add the lemon zest and stir to combine. Remove and discard the thyme.

To make the salmon:

Preheat the oven to 200°F. Season the salmon with salt and coat thoroughly with the canola oil. Transfer to a nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes. (The fish will look relatively raw and its texture will be tender.) Drizzle the lemon juice over and season with the cayenne. Scatter the pistachios on top.

To serve, place some black olive oil on each of 4 plates and top with some of the caponata. Divide the fish and place on top of the caponata.

Reprinted from “Good Fat Cooking” by Franklin Becker and Peter Kaminsky. Copyright (c) 2014 by Franklin Becker. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.

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