Courtesy The Dandelion
What odd couple was spotted lunching together in Philly? Richard Gere with…
Dakota Fanning! The 19-year-old Twilight actress and 64-year-old Hollywood vet were in town to film 2014 indie flick Franny (about a philanthropist, played by Gere, who meddles in the lives of a just-married couple, played by Fanning and British actor Theo James). The two stopped for a bite with a small group at Stephen Starr restaurant The Dandelion in Rittenhouse Square.
The British-inspired pub has all the classics (shepherd’s pie, bangers and mash), but for Gere—who hasn’t eaten red meat in more than 30 years—a hunk of Scottish salmon was his catch of the day. Fanning, meanwhile, dug into the mac ‘n’ cheese with braised ham hock and Quickes English cheddar.
Mac ‘n’ cheese will always get two forks up from us, but this time the salmon caught our eye: golden raisins and pureed onions add a sweet kick and, c’mon, anything with butter sauce is going to be delicious.
We got chef Joe Monnich at The Dandelion to spill the recipe:
Roasted Scottish Salmon with Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Onion Puree
2 spaghetti squash
2 bundles fresh thyme
11 bay leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
¼ stick butter, plus 2 tbsp.
4 cups Vidalia onions, sliced
Sugar, to taste
2 boneless, skinless salmon filets (about 6 oz. each)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut each squash in half lengthways, and season with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place the pieces on a baking tray, flesh side down, on top of a bed of thyme and 10 bay leaves. Roast in the oven until fork-tender, about 25 minutes. When finished, pull squash out and let it cool.
3. Once cooled, spoon out the seed center and discard. Fork out strings of squash and place in a container until time to finish the dish.
4. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat and add sliced onions. Simmer over low heat, about 4 minutes.
5. Tie 4 thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf together with kitchen string and add to the pot. Season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar and cook for 1 hour on low heat, until onions are translucent and tender.
6. Discard thyme and bay leaf. Transfer the onions to a food processor or blender, and puree.
7. In a skillet over high heat, cook the salmon filets until the outsides begin to turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
8. In the skillet, add remaining butter and cooked spaghetti squash. Season with salt and pepper and heat through over low heat.
9. Spoon half the onion puree onto a plate, followed by the squash the salmon filet; repeat on the second plate. Drizzle both with brown butter caper sauce (recipe below). Serve immediately.
Brown Butter Caper Sauce
Olive oil, to taste
6 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, grated
2 tbsp. golden raisins
2 tbsp. capers
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
Black pepper, to taste
Salt, to taste
2 oz. white wine vinegar
2 oz. lemon juice
½ pound unsalted butter
Parsley, to taste
Sage, to taste
1. In a medium saucepan coated in olive oil, cook the shallots and garlic over low heat until translucent and tender. Add raisins and capers, heat through and add vinegar and lemon juice. Take off heat and leave aside.
2. In another saucepan, melt butter over high heat. Cook until the butter starts to brown, then remove from heat and add to the base of the sauce. Finish the sauce with chopped parsley and sage