HERB ROASTED SALMON WITH WILD HUCKLEBERRY SAUCE
Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard
by Romney Steele
Wild salmon and earthy huckleberries make good bedfellows; both come in season in late summer/early fall and are native to the Americas. Seek out a patch of the bluish-black berries to gather for yourself if possible, as it's rare to find them in stores and if you do they are quite expensive. A tuft of lightly seasoned Bloomsdale spinach or mache pairs beautifully with the rich salmon and sauce.
• 4 (6-ounce) wild salmon fillets
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing
• 2 tablespoons mixed chopped herbs, such as parsley, thyme, and tarragon
• Scant 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup dry white wine or vegetable stock
• 1 cup huckleberries
• 1 teaspoon honey
• 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon chopped tarragon or thyme
• Splash balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Season the salmon fillets liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in an ovenproof saute pan large enough to hold all the fillets, or use two smaller pans. Add the salmon, skin side down, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned on the bottom. Brush the tops with a little more oil, sprinkle with the herbs, and place the pan in the preheated oven. Roast until the fish is just opaque in the center, about 12 minutes depending on the thickness and size of fillets.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and huckleberries and simmer until slightly thick and saucy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the honey, lemon zest, tarragon, and vinegar. Cook for 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the warm sauce over the salmon and serve.