2.07.2015

A New Sauce for My Salmon

We live in a small community of 103 homes in the foothills of Tucson's Santa Catalina Mountains. The neighborhood is governed by a volunteer board comprised of neighbors.

It is a very party-loving community, too. In fact, of the seven board members, one is assigned solely to social activities.

Aside from the annual meeting, there are four big parties sponsored by the board, plenty of unofficial dinners in one another's homes, and AD HOC pool parties in the summer.

I just finished my four-year tenure on the board and, as you might guess, I was the Social Chair.

Of all the events, the Holiday Party is the biggest undertaking of the year. Together, the board member make a dinner for about 80 people. Each member brings a different part of the meal, from cheese and crackers to hot hors d'œuvres, from salads and sides to main courses. The community guests bring desserts. 

For the main courses, Carol always brings her roasted ham with champagne sauce. It is hugely popular, and it wouldn't feel like the holidays without it. I roast 12 pounds of salmon, and usually serve it with a light yoghurt-citrus sauce.

This year, in addition to the yoghurt sauce, I decided to offer a salsa verde - not the Mexican salsa verde one expects in this region, but Mediterranean. This quick and easy sauce is perfect with roasted meats, vegetables, and (of course) salmon.

It was a huge hit, and now I can't imagine serving roasted salmon without it. I made it for Mark and me the other day, as he never got to try it at the party. We served it with a 2006 Rasteau Les Hauts du Village (Côtes du Rhône), which worked beautifully with the roasted salmons rich flesh and vinegary herb sauce. Read more about this pairing in my Provençal Pairings column at the Provence WineZine.

This is a great recipe for a crowd, especially if you are having a buffet. The salmon fillet is roasted whole, and the sauce is served on the side. A 2 1/2 to 3-pound fillet will easily feed 6-8 people.

~ David

Roasted Salmon

1 large salmon fillet, skin removed - about 2 1/2 to 3 pounds
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
dry mustard

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and lightly coat the foil with cooking spray. Place fillet, skinned side down, on the foil. Season lightly with salt and liberally with pepper. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the salmon with dry mustard.

For wild salmon, roast whole fillet for 12 minutes. If roasting individual fillets, roast for 9 minutes.

For farm raised Atlantic salmon, roast whole fillet for 15 minutes. If roasting individual fillets, roast for 12 minutes.

As always, the thickness of your fillets can change your cooking times. In general, fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

When making this for large crowds, I roast multiple fillets and then serve them at room temperature with a couple of sauce options. For dinner parties, I tend to cut fillets into individual portions and either plate the meal, or arrange them on a tray to pass.

Serve hot or at room temperature with salsa verde.

Salsa verde

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, finely minced
1 heaping tablespoons of capers, chopped
4 fillets of anchovies, finely chopped
pepper flakes, as desired
1 large bunch flat leaf parsley (all stems removed), chopped - about 1 cup
1 tablespoon herbed white wine vinegar, plus extra, if needed

Heat the oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Cook the chopped shallot for a few minutes. While shallot is cooking (do not let it brown) finely chop capers, anchovies, and a pinch of pepper flakes together. Add to the oil and shallots, and remove from the heat.

Once cooled, add parsley incorporating it into the mixture. Add 1 tablespoon vinegar to the salsa. Taste, and add more vinegar if you feel it is necessary.

Allow salsa to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to meld.

Makes about 1 cup.



32 comments:

  1. Fabulous! Your sauce sounds even better than a chimichurri! Love the combination with the salmon!

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    1. Thanks, Mimi! I need to make some chimichurri soon - want to try the red chimi first!

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  2. Wow, this sounds great. I may try the sauce with some flounder or hailbut...

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    1. Cathy - this will be perfect on either the halibut or flounder!

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  3. Dear David, it is always fun coming here for comments an discovering that we share the same taste - I make a similar suace and ususally serve it with grilled chicken breasts. We are all caper lovers (including the kids) and they add so much so what I keep calling "the green sauce" - so, I know this sauce of yours must taste absolutely fabulous with that beautifully roasted salmon!
    We would probably pick the same food from a menu at a restaurant!
    Dir und Mark ein wunderbares Wochenende,
    Andrea

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    1. That would not surprise me in the least, Andrea! So many times I find we are making exactly the same foods at the same time! Hope your family likes this!

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  4. You and Mark continue to amaze me with your generosity and social finesse! Believe it, or not, with all the fish we eat, I am not a fan of salmon. But, I really want to try this sauce on halibut - or some of the black sea bass we have in the freezer. It sounds wonderful!

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    1. Susan - this would work so well with any fish or seafood. I am thinking it might be scallops, too!

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  5. Oh my, delicious, and just brimming with some of my most favourite ingredients!

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    1. Thanks, Liz - this is perfect for your Australian summers!

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  6. I adore salsa verde and never seem to make it often enough. Not only is it refreshing, but it goes with so many things. And salmon sure is one of them. And David, you always seem to drink the most fabulous wines!

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    1. Occasionally, it is nice to splurge on a good bottle of wine, John! Writing the column for the Provence WineZine means I have to do it at least once a month! :)

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  7. Sounds awesome. I may just try this while weathering yet another 24 inch snowstorm here in MA.

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    1. You will be here before you know it, Priscilla! Stay warm till then!

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  8. Your photographs are making me salivate...and drawing me to the Tucson real estate pages! Wow--what a party! I love the wine pairing, too--so adventurous of you to try it! I cannot wait to serve the salmon --with the salsa verde--and the Rasteau Red!

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    1. Susan - we keep trying to get you two to see the light (and feel the warmth) and move here! :) I know you will love this combination!

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  9. I want to come to your parties :) Salmon is my favourite fish and your salsa verde sounds like the perfect accompaniment.

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  10. I want to move into your neighbourhood.....
    Of course, you're not the Social Chair anymore, but I guess the parties would still be worth it!
    These light herb sauces are so wonderful! Last summer I was making chimichurri with all kinds of meats. Love them because they are so fresh and add a lovely acidic element.
    This one sounds perfect for the salmon. I think this will be dinner sometime this week!

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    1. I wish you lived in my neighborhood, too, Nazneen! :)It is definitely the acidity that pulls together all the flavors. If you make it, let me know what you think! (I know the wine pairing won't be an issue! :)

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  11. I agree this looks like the perfect recipe for a crowd. Salmon always feel special, but it's easy to serve and looks how quickly it cooks up. 15 minutes is perfect when entertaining. GREG

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    1. Like you, 15 minutes for a dish when entertaining is perfect, especially when it looks regal.

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  12. I love salsa verde and have posted about it but it is so tied to the idea of meat in the Northern region of Piedmont, that we rarely think of using it with fish. I did have it with swordfish and it worked perfectly but never tried it with salmon.
    Then you come along and write about it and it just makes perfect sense to combine it with salmon: first of all, capers and salmon... do I need to add more? And then the vinegary tang cutting through the rich, oily salmon. Not to mention the color combination. Love it David, thank you!

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    1. Fiona - when I got the recipe, I knew it was used mostly for meats, but thought the same thing as you - those capers.... I love them with salmon! And it worked. I definitely need to try it with Swordfish, too - another of my favorite fishes.

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    2. It wasn't really planned: I had bought some swordfish and had some salsa verde left over... and voilà! It worked!

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    3. That is often the best route to finding good flavor combinations!

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  13. The Salsa Verde is full of some of my favorite flavors - and perfect over the salmon. YUM! Wishing our neighborhood was similar to yours in the party loving way. :-)

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    1. Valentina - we are pretty darned lucky to have found the neighborhood we did! We just love it! (More so, now that I am off the board! :)

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  14. Hi David, oh I wish I lived in your neighborhood, the holiday party sounds wonderful. I love this style of cooking, so healthy and delicious. Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks, Cheri! We really lucked out when we found our home. I, too, love this healthy style of cooking but, as you may note, I also like the not-so-healthy style! :)

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  15. It's so wonderful that you live in a small enough community to really have a 'say' in common matters. I can imagine how great you would be as the social chair David - quite a vibrant representative, in my mind!! I feel like I'm a broken record but sorry again for my absence. I still have no computer and it pains me to read blog posts on my iPhone screen (so limiting!). This salmon looks divine though. Perfectly succulent, healthy and delicious. It's Aaron's favourite protein and you've reminded me to cook it again soon :) Hope you and Mark are well my friend! X

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    1. Hi Laura - so sorry about your computer woes. Mine is about to die and I am praying for my tax return soon so that I can buy a new one! I hope you get a chance to make this for Aaron - I know you will both love it! xox

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Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I really appreciate hearing from you and welcome any ideas you may have for future posts, too. Happy Cooking!

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