After spending an afternoon in the garden planting herbs, I had three small, adorable rosemary plants left over. They looked so pretty, I decided to put them in pots on the back porch to enhance our tablescape.
I cleaned off the outdoor furniture and dusted off the pillows and we sat down that evening to a wonderful spring dinner of Salmon with Mashed Peas and Tarragon Butter. Since then, we have been out on the back porch as much as possible, for every conceivable meal and occasion, whether enjoying a cup of coffee and reading the paper in the morning, entertaining friends or having a glass of wine before dinner.
SALMON WITH MASHED PEAS AND TARRAGON BUTTER
12 ounces to 1 pound of frozen peas
7 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, plus 6 tablespoons cubed
1/2 cup cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup white wine
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
4 6-ounce salmon fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the peas until tender, 3 to 4 minutes, drain. In the same saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in the cream. Add the peas and mash with a potato masher until chunky. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Heat oven to 400F.
In a small saucepan, simmer the wine with the lemon juice over moderate heat until reduced to 1 tablespoon, 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, one cube at a time, until the sauce is thickened. Whisk in the tarragon and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl and keep warm.
Rub the salmon with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven until browned and just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Spoon the mashed peas onto plates and top with the salmon. Spoon the tarragon butter sauce around the peas and serve.
Recipe adapted from Food and Wine, April 2014