RECIPE TITLE "Herbed Salmon Baked on Rock Salt, with Red Onion-Caper
recipe excerpted from:
Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest
... more great recipes by Chef Cory Schreiber on our GREAT CHEFS page!
Yields 60 tarts--- moderate
When a salmon fillet is properly cooked, you'll find that it flakes
off of the skin with relative ease. Baking the fish on rock salt
tempers and distributes the heat, resulting in moist, evenly cooked
flesh. The red onion vinaigrette adds a light, yet pungent flavor
to the salmon, or you can serve the salmon with the tartar sauce
on page 7. Any leftover fish can be flaked into salads, soups, or
made into salmon cakes.
RED ONION-CAPER VINAIGRETTE
- 1 cup olive oil
- ¼ cup sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons capers, drained
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 pounds salmon fillet, pin bones removed, with skin intact
- 2 tablespoons mixed minced fresh herbs such as tarragon, basil,
flat-leaf parsley, and thyme
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds, cracked (page 224)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Rock or kosher salt for lining pan
To prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the
oil, vinegar, and mustard. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cover
and refrigerate until ready to use. The vinaigrette can be made up
to 2 days ahead.
To prepare the salmon: Rub the fillet with the minced herbs and
fennel seeds. Season with salt and pepper. At this point, the salmon
can be covered and refrigerated overnight.
Preheat the oven to 325°. Cover a large jelly-roll or roasting
pan with aluminum foil. Pour the rock or kosher salt into the pan,
covering its surface. Place the salmon, skin side down, on the salt.
Bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until opaque on the outside
and slightly translucent in the center. This method of cooking allows
the salmon to cook through without becoming dry. Remove from the
oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let stand for 5 minutes
(the salmon will continue to cook).
To serve, use a wide spatula to remove the salmon from the salt.
Remove the skin and portion the salmon onto plates. Spoon some of
the red onioncaper vinaigrette over each portion and serve.
CHEF'S NOTE: Though the salt on which the salmon is baked will
absorb juices from the fish, there's no reason to throw it out.
Instead, set it aside for use the next time you prepare this dish,
or one similar to it.