I can never keep track of whether rose peppercorns are legal or not. I know they are not peppercorns at all, and that they come and go in legality and fashion. I have always liked them, especially with salmon (but then any pepper is good with salmon), and still use them, if only for myself. I like artichokes with salmon as well, but another reason to put them in this dish is that it already has two or three strikes against it in terms of a fine wine—the salmon and all that liquid with onions—so one might as well go all the way, put the artichokes in as well, and enjoy the delights of a very hearty, powerful white wine or a cool light Gamay or Beaujolais.
Skin the salmon fillets and cut into 1-inch cubes. Combine the oil and thyme in a bowl and toss thoroughly with the salmon pieces.
Cut away the leaves of the artichokes and trim each one down to the base or bottom. Cut out the choke and rub the artichokes thoroughly with the lemon. Cook in salted boiling water with the lemon until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool; then cut crosswise into ⅛-inch slices.
Peel the onions and cook in the fish stock until tender. Drain and reserve the onions.
Put the salmon in a sauté pan and pour over the fish stock. Bring the stock to a simmer over high heat; immediately turn down the heat to low. Add the artichokes and onions and cook another minute. Spoon into warm soup plates, leaving the liquid in the pan. Turn the heat to very high. Add the butter and peppercorns to the liquid and boil until the butter is totally incorporated. Pour over the salmon in the plates, season to taste, and garnish with the parsley or chervil.
© 1986 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.