Chef Tim Kelly, The Painted Table, Seattle, Washington

That Obscure Object of Desire


  • 2 six-ounce salmon tournedos
  • 2 bunches medium-sized asparagus, cut and discard bottom 2 inches of stalks
  • 4 morel mushrooms, rinsed and halved
  • 8 baby turnips, peeled, blanched until tender and shocked in ice water
  • 8 fingerling potatoes, halved
  • 1 Tablespoon chives, chopped and mixed with 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon each chopped fresh herbs: chervil, chives and tarragon
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, for cooking
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt and white pepper


For Sauce:

Blanch asparagus for 15 seconds and shock in an ice bath. When cool, set aside 6 stalks of blanched asparagus. Purée the remaining asparagus in a blender until completely smooth. Press the purée through a fine mesh strainer, releasing the asparagus juices. Reserve the, approximately 1/8 cup, juice result.

Season the fingerling potatoes with salt, pepper and olive oil. Roast in a 450° oven for 8 minutes.

Season and sear the salmon in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook slowly on stove to desired temperature.

Sauté the reserved 6 asparagus stalks, shallots, chopped herbs and morels in remaining olive oil. Pass through a sieve. Set aside.

In a small saucepot, heat the asparagus juice. When simmering, remove from heat and stir in the chive and olive oil mixture, a light squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

To Plate:

Place the potatoes in the center of the plate, with sauté of vegetables on top, followed by the salmon perched on top of vegetables. Spoon the asparagus sauce around the plate.