- Two skin-on, pin-boned fillets of fresh salmon, tail or middle, about 175g each
- Olive oil - a spray is very useful for this
- Whole salt
- Freshly-ground black pepper
- 150g Jersey Royal potatoes, lightly scrubbed to remove the papery bits
- A small bunch of fresh English asparagus, woody stems snapped off
- 30g butter
- Freshly-ground white pepper (for the asparagus)
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley, tarragon or dill, or a mixture.
- 1 lemon
- Bring a pan of water to simmering point. While that's happening, remove the grid from your grill pan and line the base with foil. Spray lightly with oil and brush over the foil to stop the fish from sticking. Put the fish into the pan, skin-side up and brush the skin with a little oil. Season with whole salt and black pepper and brush again. Preheat the grill to its highest setting.
- Now get the potatoes underway. Add them carefully to the simmering water with a slotted spoon, along with a pinch of salt. Boil until they just yield to the point of a knife.
- Once they are bubbling away merrily, grill the salmon on a middle to high shelf. Give it a couple of minutes, until the skin is brown and starting to blister, then move it to a lower shelf. A tail will take about 5-7 minutes, a middle fillet a little longer.
- Meanwhile, tie the asparagus in a bunch and steam upright for about 4 minutes for a bit of a crunch. Divide the spears between two warmed plates and dress with half the butter and some white pepper.
- The potatoes should be ready, so drain them and add them to the plates, dotted with the remaining butter and garnished with the herbs. Arrange them next to the asparagus on the plates. Finish with the salmon. The skin will be blackened and crisp and (optionally) good to eat. Peeled back, it will reveal moist, pink, perfectly-cooked flesh.
- Slice the remaining lemon half into two quarters and put one on each plate to be squeezed liberally.
The agent provocateur here is the asparagus, though less so when muffled by other ingredients. Avoid oak and go for aroma, raciness and class in a glass. A dream match is a fine dry Alsace muscat, but a top-drawer Kiwi sauvignon like Greywacke is wonderful too or a more traditional Pouilly-Fumé if you prefer.