Cold-poached salmon with Dijon mustard sauce

Salmon (reeskyline / iStock / Getty Images Plus via Jewish Exponent)

By Linda Morel

Rosh Hashanah is catching many people by surprise this year.

Falling on the heels of Labor Day weekend, the Jewish New Year begins on the eve of Sept. 6 — when you’re usually winding down from vacation. Summer is hardly over.

Because the temperature hovers on the high side, it’s too hot to crank up the oven.

Yet you want to celebrate the Jewish New Year in a respectful, festive way. You want the holiday to be as special as it’s always been. Although you usually rely on make-ahead Rosh Hashanah foods, a new strategy would be more helpful at this point. Forget labor-intensive recipes that require a lot of work, long lists of ingredients and complicated directions. You don’t have time for that.

Now that summer is colliding with fall, you need a menu that is quick and refreshing. You need elegant recipes that come together at the last minute — recipes that exude simplicity and keep you calm as you prepare easy, yet stunning, foods at this busy time of year you never saw coming.

This recipe serves 4-6.

Equipment: a fish poacher, a wok with a rack or a deep saute pan fitted with a rack and lid

For the salmon:

  • 1 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 branches of fresh dill, plus more for garnish
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • Nonstick vegetable spray
  • 2½-pound piece of salmon fillet
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Into the bottom of the fish poacher, wok or saute pan, place the white wine, water, three branches of dill, onion and garlic. Spray the top side of the rack with nonstick spray and put it in place.

Place the salmon on the rack, skin side down. Sprinkle it generously with salt. Place the lid on top. On a high flame, bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame and steam on a fast simmer for 10 minutes, or until the salmon flakes when a knife point is inserted into the thickest part.

Using a wide spatula, carefully move the salmon to a platter and cool it to room temperature. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours, or up to 24 hours.

When ready to serve, garnish the salmon with a generous amount of dill fronds and sliced lemon. Serve with Dijon mustard sauce.

Dijon mustard sauce:

  • ½ cup reduced-calorie mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Place the ingredients in a small bowl and mix them together with a spoon until thoroughly combined. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving.

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