Spicy salmon with curried chickpeas, baby beets and fetta

Spicy salmon with chickpeas.
Spicy salmon with chickpeas. Photo: Jennifer Soo

For the best flavour, make the curry dressing the night before.

Ingredients

Curry dressing:

2 tbsp good curry powder

3/4 cup vegetable or olive oil

1/4 cup cabernet sauvignon vinegar (eg Forum)

Salmon:

2 tbsp sumac

2 tsp mustard seeds

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1.5kg (one side) salmon fillet, skin and bones removed

Chickpeas:

1 tbsp good curry powder, extra

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, extra

2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained well

18 baby beetroots, trimmed

Salt and splash of vinegar

120g good quality fetta

Watercress or fresh coriander for garnish

Method

For the curry dressing: Toast the curry powder in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant. Add the oil, bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Set aside and leave overnight. Next day, strain through a very fine sieve (use muslin if you want very clear oil).

Whisk together a quarter cup curry oil with the vinegar and set aside until needed.

For the salmon: Toast the sumac and mustard seeds in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant. Cool. Place the spices and garlic in a mortar and pestle and pound together until combined. Gradually add the extra virgin olive oil until well combined.

Spread the sumac mixture over the top side of the salmon. Wrap the fish in foil and bake at 200C for 15 minutes or until cooked as desired. Remove and cool.

For the chickpeas: Toast the curry powder in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant. Add the oil and the chickpeas and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Place the beetroots in a large saucepan of cold water. Add salt and a splash of vinegar and bring to the boil. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until beetroots are tender. Remove and cool. Peel off the skin (use gloves to stop your fingers being stained!) and cut into quarters.

To serve: On a large platter, cover the base with chickpeas, scatter over the beetroot and crumbled fetta and lay the salmon on top. Drizzle with curry dressing. Garnish with watercress or coriander. Serve at room temperature.