15 June 2012

Grilled Salmon with Blackberry Shallot Chutney & Fried Basil

The boards are over....hooray!  The hubs made it through and felt wonderful about his performance.  Needless to say, a celebration was necessary.  And for two Pacific Northwesterners, no celebration is complete without fresh Alaskan King Salmon.  However, a big celebration calls for a bit of flair, so we pulled out the stops with an amazing blackberry shallot topping and wow....were our taste buds happy.

Gorgeous, meaty, succulent salmon always calls for a supple, fruity, fresh pinot noir.  We had an amazing bottle of 2008 Pisoli Vineyards we were given as a wedding gift that was reserved for our post-boards celebratory toast.  To play up the fruit flavor even more, we decided to match it up with a blackberry chutney of sorts.  

Now chutney is being used loosely here as it is the most applicable term I can find (as I take a break from packing for our trip to Mexico).  It does not have the flavor of your typical chutney, but salsa didn't seem like an appropriate term here.  But that's probably a bit closer to what this is. 

This dish was a big fat wow.  I mean, gorgeous.  Both in appearance and flavor.  The colors pop beautifully, and the flavor is a wonderful ride.  Blackberry and shallot start the flavor sensation with their forward flavor, but this gently rides into the umami goodness that is King salmon.  Fried basil adds a delicious peppery sweetness as well as a light crunch that makes my tongue very happy.

A very few ingredients for a very special dish.  CONGRATS HUBS!!!!

Grilled Salmon with Blackberry Shallot Chutney & Fried Basil (serves 3-4)
  • 1 c blackberries
  • 1/2 c diced shallots
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tbs champagne vinegar
  • 15 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 pound fresh King salmon (we prefer skin on)
  • salt & pepper
Preaheat your oven to 375 degrees and the barbecue to medium heat.  Place the diced shallots in a glass bottomed baking dish.  Drizzle with about 1/2 tsp of olive oil (enough to lightly coat) and then sprinkle with sugar (again, enough to lightly coat).  Toss to combine.  Roast for about 10 minutes, until shallots are cooked.  Some will be soft and some slightly crunchy....that's good.  Remove from oven, transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper.  Cook for 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare salmon.  Transfer to a plate and cover with tin foil.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

Place a medium pan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add 12 of the basil leaves.  Cook for about 30 seconds to a minute on each side, until basil turns bright green and becomes stiff.  Remove to a paper towel and allow excess oil to drain.  

Julienne the remaining basil leaves and add to the shallots.  Then add blackberries and vinegar.  With a fork, gently mash each blackberry enough to soften and release their juices without destroying their shape.  Mix together well.

By now, your salmon is done resting.  Serve and top with blackberry shallot chutney and fried basil leaves.  This is a wonderful summer dish with simply grilled veggies and homemade biscuits.  And of course, a great pinot noir!

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