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      RECIPE TITLE "Herbed Salmon Baked on Rock Salt, with Red Onion-Caper Vinaigrette"
    recipe excerpted from: Wildwood: Cooking from the Source in the Pacific Northwest

    ... more great recipes by Chef Cory Schreiber on our GREAT CHEFS page!

    yieldsYields 60 tartstime---difficulty 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.



    • 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 onion—caper 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.

    HOT! We recommend:

    Chef Cory Schreiber opened the Wildwood restaurant in Portland five years ago and has rapidly become a leading figure in the region's bustling culinary scene. Schreiber won the James Beard Award in 1998 for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest-a fitting tribute to a man who cherishes the land, its peoples and its produce in much the same way as Beard, a native Oregonian himself, did. Schreiber emphasizes organic produce prepared in ways that allow the natural beauty and flavors of the ingredients to shine forth, unobstructed by fussy embellishments. It is complex cuisine to be sure, but one grounded in a hearty, rustic sensibility. With its lavish food and landscape photography, inspired recipes and passionate personal narrative, this book presents the dishes that have earned Mr. Schreiber national acclaim and offers a window into the source of his creativity.


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