Saucy Salmon for Dinner

22 Jul

With blackberries hitting the peak of their season, I couldn’t resist going picking. It’s amazing how satisfying it is to pick your own produce and then cook with it. Unfortunately, as usual, I got carried away. I pick way too many berries and was on the verge of blackberry overload. Literally, the berries were overflowing out of the container. I managed to get them home, but now I had the challenge of making them into something even better than they already were.

Something that I love doing is pairing fruit and seafood. To me it seems like when you have to fresh things they are destined to be together. This dish was Walnut Crusted Roasted Salmon with Blackberry Sage Sauce. I know it sounds fancy, but it’s very simple. The flavor finds its perfection in the balance of sweet and savory.

Why does this dish work? The fat in the salmon is cooked down slowly, which means the fish won’t dry out, even if you overcook it. The walnuts add crunch and texture. If you’re not a fan of walnuts, sliced almonds would taste great as well. The sauce is the sweet part of the equation. It’s easy to over do when it comes to sweeter fruit sauces. You want to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit without the sauce tasting like you just poured jelly on your fish. By adding in a woody herb, like sage, you can mellow the sweetness and accentuate the berry flavor with a contrasting earthy flavor.

Bake the salmon in a 350 degree oven with the walnuts on top of the fish. Use a light egg wash to get the walnuts to stick to the fish. Because of the lower temperature the fish will take 20-25 minutes cook to a temperature of medium. The sauce can be made ahead of time and held warm or reheated as necessary.

Blackberry Sage Sauce

1 cup blackberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh sage, minced
1 tablespoon butter

Combine all ingredients except for the butter in a sauce pan and cook on medium for 15 minutes. Right before serving, add in the butter and re-season with salt and pepper.

Keep in mind that salmon is full flavored fish that can standup to a big sauce. If you prefer a lighter white fish such as tilapia or cod, this sauce would overwhelm the fish. Depending on the season, you could serve the sauce with scallops, arctic char, or swordfish. If you are not a seafood lover, try the sauce on chicken or as a condiment to use on cheese.

Always thinking of the next meal,


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