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A Maggie Beer Australia Day inspired recipes: This is a very special, even sensuous dish.
To make the salsa, core and seed the tomatoes and cut them into small dice (to yield about 1 cup). Cut the onion and avocado into dice the same size, and tear the basil into pieces. Combine these ingredients with the olive oil and lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper and set aside at room temperature for the flavours to meld.
Remove the skin from the salmon fillets, if present, then extract any bones with tweezers.
Choose a heavy-based saucepan or deep frying pan large enough to accommodate the fish in one layer; the smaller the pan, the less olive oil you will need to use. Pour a generous amount of olive oil into the pan, then stand it over a very low heat and bring to blood temperature only (dip your finger into the oil - it should not feel hot). Slip the fillets into the oil - the fillets should lie just below the surface like submarines - and cook at this gentle temperature for 18 - 22 minutes. If white dots appear on the surface of the fish the oil is too hot (these are beads of protein).
Remove the salmon from the pan with an egg slice and put straight onto waiting plates. Mound some salsa on top of each fillet and serve immediately with sea salt on the table. The salmon will be quite pink in the centre but will be cooked.
It works best when the salmon fillets are the same size and weight (ideally from the middle of the fish). The cooked salmon is quite pink inside and warm rather than hot, so make sure your guests don't belong to the 'if it's not piping hot or cooked well-done, it's just not right' school of thought!
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