People make preparing fish more difficult than it is. We’ll just keep it simple. Buying fish is like buying produce. It needs to look fresh, feel fresh and smell fresh.
Course: Salad Cuisine: American Prep Time: 20 to 30 Minutes Cook Time: BBQ to Medium Temperature Servings: 4 to 6
FOR THE SALMON:
2 1/2 pounds salmon (enough for at least four 10-ounce servings)
1/2 cup raw brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher or sea salt (do not use iodized salt)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup citrus vodka
FOR THE SALAD:
(serves 2 to 3)
2-3 cups mesclun or mixed salad greens
2 Roma tomatoes
1 small bunch seedless Flame Tokay grapes
1 tart apple
2 large strawberries
1 clove garlic, peeled
6 ounces fresh king salmon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 T. fresh tarragon leaves, chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
4-5 t. extra-virgin olive oil (we prefer B. R. Cohn)
3-4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (B. R. Cohn is also our choice)
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
Mix all ingredients (except salmon) in a mixing bowl. Save a half-cup of mint to put on salmon after barbeque. Place salmon in a tray or dish so it is immersed in the curing solution. Marinate for a minimum of two hours (three hours is best), remove and rinse with cold water. Pat dry.
Note: I advise that you cut the salmon into serving sizes before curing so that it will be easier to handle.
Heat your barbeque to hot (400 to 475 degrees). Place salmon on grill and cook to desired temperature. I like my salmon cooked to medium temperature. Just before you take the salmon off the grill squeeze lemon juice over the top and sprinkle with the remainder of the mint.
Put the mesclun in a large bowl. Dice one tomato and add to the mesclun. Cut the other tomato in wedges and arrange them on a serving platter.
Halve 6-8 grapes and add to the mesclun. Use the rest to garnish the serving platter.
Peel, core, and seed the apple. Slice it and cut the slices into matchsticks. Set aside about 1/3 of the matchsticks. Cut the remaining 2/3 into dice and add to the mesclun.
Hull and slice one strawberry. Add to the mesclun. Set the other aside.
Crush the garlic with a press to puree. Rub the puree on one side of the salmon. Over it, sprinkle kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, 1 tablespoon of fresh tarragon (1 teaspoon dried), and 2 tablespoons of parsley.
On a medium-high setting, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. When it is very hot, add the salmon, seasoned side down, to sear. After about a minute, turn it over, sprinkle on a teaspoon or two of the balsamic vinegar. Remove the pan to an oven with the broiler on, about 4 inches from the broiler.
On a medium-high setting, heat a teaspoon or two of olive oil in a seasoned skillet so that the oil is “dancing” on the skillet. Add the macadamia nuts, a pinch of tarragon, and a few grinds of pepper.
Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Cook, stirring until nuts are just beginning to color. Pour the macadamia mixture over the mesclun, reserving a tablespoon or so of the macadamias.
Toss the mesclun mixture to mix well, arrange on the prepared serving platter, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
Place the salmon, seasoned side up, on top of the mesclun. Top it with the remaining macadamias, apple matchsticks, sliced strawberry, parsley, tarragon and a few grinds of fresh pepper.
Wine recommendations for fish can vary from a light style pinot noir, California sauvignon blanc, Viogner, dry riesling and chardonnay.
The Mint Cured Wild Spring Salmon would be very good with a dry riesling or a Viogner and the Seared Salmon Salad because of acidity would be wonderful with a sauvignon blanc. Some I would recommend are Cosentino Meritage, Sobon Viogner and Martinelli Riesling. All are 2004 vintage and I am certain you will enjoy them.
As always enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!