I’ve a weakness for the smoky flavor of toasted sesame, a perfect match for salmon sharpened with a sprinkling of lime, then flamed with vodka. With the salmon comes a salad of fresh parsley, dressed with oil and lime juice; it’s delicious too with other fish and chicken.

Serves 4
1 ½ lb salmon fillet, skin removed
5-6 tablespoons vodka
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
¼ cup butter
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 lime, cut in wedges, for serving
For the parsley salad
Juice of 1 lime
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
Large bunch of flatleaf parsley (about 3 oz)

1. Cut the salmon into four equal pieces and lay them in a non-metallic dish and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of the vodka and some salt and pepper. Turn and sprinkle the other sides with a tablespoon of vodka and more salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for 10-15 minutes so the salmon pickles slightly and picks up taste.

2. Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a dry non-stick frying pan over medium heat stirring often, until brown and fragrant, 4-5 minutes.

3. For the parsley salad: reserve 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Whisk the remaining juice in a small bowl with the oil, and a little salt and pepper. Pull the parsley sprigs from the stems and discard the stems. Rinse the sprigs in cold water and dry on paper towels or in a salad spinner add parsley to the dressing and toss to mix; taste and adjust the seasoning.

4. Drain the salmon and pat dry on paper towels. Melt the butter in a frying pan. Sauté the salmon until browned, 2-3 minutes. For an attractive golden brown it’s best to heat the butter until sputtering stops, then put in the salmon with the cut-or backbone side downwards. When brown, sprinkle it with chopped garlic, then turn and continue cooking. Depending on the thickness of the fillets, this should take 2-3 minutes longer for medium done salmon that is still translucent in the center, or 4-5 minutes if you prefer it well done.

5. Transfer the cooked salmon to serving plates. Pour the remaining vodka over the salmon the pan, bring just to a boil, then set it alight standing well back. Take the pan from the heat and sprinkle with the reserved lime juice, sesame oil and sesame seeds. Arrange the salmon on warm plates and spoon over the pan juices. Garnish the plates with parsley salad and lime wedges.