Dial the numbers 4-0-6, and you know you’re calling one state: Montana. That’s because the vast area, derived from the Spanish word montaña (for mountain), has only one area code.
Jennifer Eisin and Eloin “El” Amador were out at the Eisen family’s Montana vacation home when inspiration struck. The work-and-life couple had already opened a catering company and a Mexican restaurant in Glenview. Montana’s Big Sky Country afforded them the inspiration to open another restaurant, this time in Northbrook. They launched House 406 last July.
All of the restaurant’s ingredients touched the buzzwords: locally sourced, farm-to-table. Amador, who grew up in Palmar Chico, a small town southwest of Mexico City, approves every ingredient; changing dishes to best interpret what’s available each season. The Skuna Bay Salmon is no exception, featuring green beans, butternut squash, fennel, and farro.
“El says it’s the new quinoa,” jokes Eisin of the hearty grain.
“The reason why I created the dish because I wanted something lighter on the menu,” says Amador of the salmon. “People around here, they don’t like to eat every night heavy food.”
“Or really foodie food,” adds Eisin. “[This dish is] something a little more straight forward. Something my mom would love — hearty, homey, but also just good.”
Skuna Bay Salmon, Roasted Vegetable & Farro Ragout, and Fennel & Arugula Salad
Total Time: 45 minutes
Roasted Vegetable & Farro Ragout
Makes 2 cups
1 cup farro
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup green beans, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup butternut squash, cleaned and cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/3 cup canned cherry tomatoes, not drained
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- In a medium pot, combine the farro, 4 cups water, bay leaf, and kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 30-45 minutes at a simmer. Drain and remove bay leaf.
- Meanwhile, heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the green beans, butternut squash, and cauliflower with the olive oil and garlic. Season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and roast in hot oven for 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
- In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, combine the cooked farro, roasted vegetables, and canned cherry tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until flavors are well combined. Season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper if needed.
Fennel & Arugula Salad
½ cup fennel, shaved thinly
1 cup arugula
¼ cup whole grain mustard vinaigrette
- Combine all ingredients and toss. Lightly season with kosher salt.
Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette
Makes 1 cup
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
½ tablespoon garlic, minced
¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
4 oz. olive oil
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Combine all and whisk. Season to taste.
Skuna Bay Salmon
2 pieces 8 ounce Skuna Bay Salmon, (or other high quality salmon)
2 tablespoon Canola Oil
2 cups roasted vegetable and farro ragout
1 handful Fennel & Arugula Salad, for topping
- Lightly season the salmon with salt and pepper. In a medium size pan heat the oil on high; sear the fish on one side until crispy. Flip the salmon and turn heat to medium. Cook until desired doneness.
- Place 1 cup of hot Roasted Vegetable & Farro Ragout on plate. Top with one piece salmon. Finish with a handful of the Fennel & Arugula Salad.