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Grilled salmon with seasonal vegetables and a garlicky herb sauce

Recipe by:Executive Chef Scott Romano
Dry Creek Kitchen, Healdsburg

Ingredients

  • Saffron chermoula sauce
    Juice and zest of 1 lemon
    3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    1/4 cup minced yellow onion
    1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    2 cloves garlic, finely minced
    2 tsp. saffron
    1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
    1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
  • Fennel aïoli
    3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    2 tsp. local bee pollen (optional)
    1 1/2 tsp. fennel pollen
    1 tbsp. lemon juice
    Zest of 1 lemon
    2 egg yolks
    1 tsp. kosher salt
    2/3 cup grapeseed oil
    1/4 cup olive oil
  • Grilled salmon
    6 baby fennel bulbs
    6 (6-oz.) Pacific king salmon fillets
    7 tbsp. olive oil
    Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
    1 lb. patty pan squash, ends trimmed
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
    1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
    1 cup saffron chermoula (see recipe)
    1 cup fennel aïoli (see recipe)
    Fronds from 2 to 3 fennel bulbs

Directions

For sauce: Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Let sit at room temperature for 4 hours before using. (Chef's note: A bright, garlicky herb sauce from North Africa, chermoula is often used as a marinade or an accompaniment for grilled seafood, but, in fact, it's an endlessly versatile condiment. Serve it with roasted leg of lamb, stir it into couscous, slather it on roasted cauliflower or toss it with chickpeas and shredded carrots for a quick salad.)

For aïoli: In a food processor, blend together garlic, pollens, lemon juice, lemon zest, egg yolks and salt. Combine grapeseed oil and olive oil in a separate bowl. With food processor running, slowly drizzle in oil until mixture is well emulsified.

For salmon: While grill is heating to 400 degrees, use a mandolin to shave fennel paper thin. Place shavings in a bowl of ice water and set aside.

Rub salmon with 2 tbsp. olive oil until fully coated, and season with salt and pepper. Place on grill flesh side down. (Do not close lid.) Grill for 3 minutes, then rotate salmon 90 degrees and grill for another 3 minutes. Flip salmon and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix squash with basil and oregano, and toss in 3 tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place squash on 400-degree grill and cook a few minutes until charred, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, remove fennel from ice water and dry well. In a medium bowl, toss with 2 tbsp. olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

To serve, place a large spoonful of aïoli (about 2 tbsp.) in the middle of each plate. Top with squash and then salmon. Stir chermoula well and spoon 1 tbsp. over each portion of salmon. Top with a small handful of shaved fennel and garnish with fennel fronds.

Serves 6

Califonia Bountiful