I often feature a number of recipes from Food and Wine magazine. This month is no exception as we reprint a popular salmon recipe from Michael Romano of Union Square Cafe (our favorite NYC restaurant) that features late summer vegetables. The USC recipe, which appeared in the 2018 Food and Wine featuring their 40 top recipes, is for seared salmon with summer vegetables.
I am always a bit sad to serve this recipe because it marks the beginning of the end of a bountiful summer filled with great vegetables and fruits. The corn, green beans and mushrooms are a real treat, but it gives us an opportunity to showcase Gourmet Living’s balsamic vinegar of Modena.
Mind you, I do take a bit of exception of Michael Romano’s preparation. He reduces the balsamic vinegar over heat which I do not often recommend. While this is probably the only course to follow for supermarket varieties of balsamic vinegar, a premium balsamic vinegar like Goccia d’Oro has a viscosity level of 1.33 compared to commercial varieties which rarely exceed 1.06. Let’s face it, natural evaporation produces a far more concentrated and authentic taste than a heat reduction.
The accompanying vegetables in the recipe provide a wonderful balance to the salmon. As suggested in Food and Wine, “this recipe serves three to four as a main course and can easily be doubled.” We do!
Seared Salmon with Summer Vegetables
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter 6 ounces, divided
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 3 garlic cloves 2 thinly sliced and 1 whole, divided
- 1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms stems removed and reserved, caps quartered, divided
- 1 medium-size ripe tomato coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 pound fresh spinach
- 2 cups fresh corn kernels
- 1 lb center-cut salmon fillet sliced crosswise into 6 strips
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- Cut 6 tablespoons butter into 1/2-inch cubes, and refrigerate until ready to use. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-low. Add onion, sliced garlic, shiitake stems, tomato, black peppercorns, and bay leaf, and cook until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 12 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and 1/3 cup water, increase heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is syrupy, about 4 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, and add cubed butter, 2 to 3 pieces at a time, whisking thoroughly between additions. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard solids. Keep sauce warm over a double boiler.
- Spear whole garlic clove with a dinner fork. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over high until just beginning to smoke. Add spinach; cook, stirring using fork with garlic clove, until spinach is wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste; transfer to a colander to drain. Discard garlic clove.
- Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Reduce heat to medium, and add 3 tablespoons butter. Add shiitake caps, and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in corn kernels; cook until completely heated through, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a bowl, and keep warm.
- Increase heat to high, and add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet. Season salmon strips with salt and pepper to taste. Add fish to skillet, and cook until browned but barely cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
- Divide spinach among 6 plates; surround with corn and shiitakes. Place a salmon strip on top of spinach, and spoon vinegar sauce on fish. Garnish with a sprinkling of chives; serve immediately.
Consult the Gourmet Living website more great recipes featuring balsamic vinegar.