May 24, 2018

Nibbles: Super Summer Salmon

Salmon with tarragon sauce is the quintessential summer dish.

Salmon with tarragon sauce is the quintessential summer dish.

Why don’t I like salmon? Maybe because the few times I order it in restaurants it is overcooked. Maybe because I only want fresh salmon, preferably wild caught.

It’s funny: every time I have had salmon at someone’s house, it is glorious.

James O’Shea roasted a huge piece of salmon on my grill in Old Lyme, chopping only the herbs in my herb garden plus a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and it was heavenly.

My friend Joan does a slow-cooked salmon that I adore.


Maybe I should just try it with Andrew Zimmern’s recipe with my friend Robert Rabine’s recipe for tarragon sauce. By the way, this sauce is wonderful with cold roast beef, grilled chicken or any other fish, especially swordfish. He served it last week with poached salmon, tiny sliced warm potatoes, sliced summer tomatoes and a corn and tomato salad. I will make this before the summer is gone.

Cold Poached Salmon

Recipe by Andrew Zimmern on Epicurious

3 cups white wine
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
3 celery ribs
1 tablespoon black peppercorn
3 sprigs of parsley
1 three-pound-salmon fillet, pin bones removed

In a fish poacher or a pot big enough to hold salmon, pour wine, onion, celery, peppercorns and parsley. Add 3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Add salmon (submerged with a plate). Bring to a simmer, cover and cook gently over low heat, 6 to 8 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cook for 5 minutes more.

Using two spatulas, transfer salmon to a platter. Remove white bits. Allow it to stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool. Serve on the platter or cut into slices for serving. (You can reserve the liquid, refrigerated, to use again for chowder.)

Swifty’s Tarragon Sauce

1 bunch fresh tarragon, washed, leaves only
1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
Juice from 2 lemons
1 and one-half cups mayonnaise
One-half cup parsley leaves, finely chopped
One-quarter cup thinly sliced chives
Small pinch kosher salt
Additional mayonnaise to taste

Finely chop the tarragon leaves and place them in a medium stainless bowl with the chopped shallots.  Squeeze in the juice from the lemons, stir and let it macerate for two hours.  Add the remaining ingredients, stirring well to combine.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


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