IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Chive-Crusted Salmon with Peas, Pickled Fennel & Crispy Quinoa

Curtis Stone's Chive-Crusted Salmon with Peas, Pickled Fennel and Crispy Quinoa
Cook Time:
1 hr
Prep Time:
15 mins

Chef notes

This is an adapted recipe from my first restaurant Maude, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. I have always embraced seasonality on the Maude menu, and this fish course with peas, chives and fennel, captures a moment when everything is fresh, bright and green. The pink of the salmon complements those vibrant colors of the produce and simply says, “It’s spring!”


Crispy quinoa
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • cups water
Pickled fennel
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 3/4 teaspoons flaky sea salt, divided
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red chile flakes (optional)
Pea salad and puree
  • 3/4 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1/2 cup thawed frozen peas
  • kosher salt, to taste
Mustard dressing
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 (6-ounce) fillets skinless salmon
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup chopped chives


For the crispy quinoa:


Put quinoa in fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water. Drain well.


Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and quinoa, and stir well. Add water and bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender but not mushy and water has been absorbed.


Preheat oven to 375 F. Spread cooked quinoa on sheet pan and set aside to cool.


In a large bowl, toss cooked quinoa with remaining olive oil. Bake quinoa for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until quinoa is crispy. Remove from oven and place quinoa on paper towels to help remove some excess oil.


Using oven mitts, move rack to lowest position in oven and raise temp to 450 F in preparation for baking salmon.

For the pickled fennel:

Using a mandolin, very thinly shave fennel bulb. Toss fennel in bowl with 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt and set aside, tossing occasionally, until moisture begins to exude, about 10 minutes. Rinse fennel and drain well. Transfer to heatproof bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, sugar, vinegar and remaining flaky sea salt. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt; add chile flakes, if using. Pour hot pickling liquid over fennel and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Cover pickled fennel and refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the sugar snap peas and pea puree:

Cook sugar snap peas in a pot of boiling salted water for 1 minute, or until bright green. Using spider, remove peas from boiling water, drain and transfer peas to a large bowl of ice water. Set aside until peas are cold. Remove snap peas from ice water and drain on paper towels.

Blanch thawed frozen peas in same pot of boiling salted water for 3 minutes, or until bright green and just cooked through. Using spider, remove peas from boiling water, drain and transfer peas to a large bowl of ice water. Set aside until peas are cold. Remove from ice water. Blend blanched peas in blender until smooth. Season pea puree to taste with salt.

For the mustard dressing:

In bowl, whisk vinegar, honey and both mustards to combine. Slowly whisk in oil until well-blended. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

For salmon:

Coat salmon with olive oil, season with salt and place on sheet pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until salmon is mostly opaque, with rosy center. Brush some Dijon over the tops of the salmon fillets then dip tops in chives to coat. Sprinkle some quinoa over salmon.

Dollop pea puree onto each plate and swoosh with spoon. Arrange sugar snap peas and pickled fennel decoratively on plates. Drizzle with mustard dressing. Top with salmon and serve.