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Bridget Jones’s pan-fried salmon with pine nut salsa

This is the dish Patrick Dempsey’s character tells Renée Zellweger’s Bridget Jones that he would have brought her on their imaginary second date in Bridget Jones’s Baby. “From Ottolenghi,” says Dempsey, “delicious and healthy!” And easy, we might add! What sounded like a bit of product placement on our part was in fact no such thing. The recipe didn’t even exist on our menu, so this is a retrospective acknowledgment.

Serves four (halve the recipe if you’re on that second date!)

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • ¾ cup currants
  • 4 salmon fillets, skin on and pinbones removed (1 lb 2 oz/500g)
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 medium celery stalks, cut into ½-inch/ 1cm dice (1¾ cups/ 180g), leaves removed but kept for garnish
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup capers, plus 2 tablespoons of their brine
  • 1/3 cup large green olives, pitted and cut into ½-inch/1cm dice (about 8)
  • 1 good pinch (¼ teaspoon) of saffron threads, mixed with 1 tbsp hot water
  • 1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon: finely zest to get 1 tsp, then juice to get 1 teaspoon

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Cover the currants with boiling water and set aside to soak for 20 minutes while you prep the salmon and make the salsa.
  2. Mix the salmon with 1 tablespoon of the oil, a rounded ¼ teaspoon salt, and a good grind of pepper. Set aside while you make the salsa.
  3. Put 5 tablespoons of the olive oil into a large sauté pan and place on a high heat. Add the celery and pine nuts and fry for 4–5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the nuts begin to brown (don’t take your eyes off them, as they can easily burn). Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the capers and their brine, the olives, saffron and its water, and a pinch of salt. Drain the currants and add these, along with the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.
  4. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the salmon fillets, skin side down, and fry for 3 minutes, until the skin is crisp. Decrease the heat to medium, then flip the fillets over and continue to fry for 2–4 minutes (depending on how much you like the salmon cooked). Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. Arrange the salmon on four plates and spoon on the salsa. Scatter the celery leaves on top.