As Mark Bittman reminded us all in last Wednesday’s New York Times, it’s still wild salmon season. The end of this joyous season is fast-approaching so those not living in the Pacific Northwest better eat up while they can.
Salmon seems to be the fish that even people who don’t like fish will eat. It could be its texture, flavor, body, the fact that it’s “less fishy”--who’s to say? The beauty of wild salmon is that you can enjoy the fish at its prime, at the crux of when nature intended you to eat it. It is bursting with flavor and color--much like the current crop of tomatoes.
This time of year constantly leaves me searching for the best way to prepare wild salmon. For me, the ultimate way to celebrate in-season food is to preserve the food’s integrity and natural flavor. With a fish this vibrant and fresh, you don’t need a heavy sauce or spice rub. Nothing can or should compete with the salmon; everything must enhance it. It’s easier said than done, I know, but, nothing beats a perfectly cooked salmon fillet on a summer night!
After purchasing a pound of wild Alaskan sockeye salmon from Citarella last night, I have spent too much of my day thinking about how I am going to cook this prized fish. Below, I have included two recipes that look tempting. Yet, I believe I am going to adapt one of Laurent Gras’ My Provence recipes for the occasion. I plan to swap out the light-bodied and flaky salted cod for my sockeye salmon--I’m already smiling at the sure-to-be happy pairing of salmon with Gras’ green olive emulsion.
Wild Salmon with Green Beans and Sauce Verte, David Tanis, New York Times
Spiced Salmon Kebabs, Bon Appétit (June 2013)
Recipe Adaptation: Replace cod with wild salmon.
Fresh Cod with Green Olives, My Provence, Laurent Gras