Grilled Salmon with grilled vegetables
I don’t usually reach for a big buttery Chardonnay when I grill but I brought home a great Sonoma Loeb Chardonnay 2011 and had some salmon to grill. With a little luck and finesse I can crisp up the yummy skin serve it intact.
I didn’t expect the Chardonnay to be a great match. I usually go for a nice Pinot Noir but was pleasantly surprise with the Sonoma-Loeb. We grilled an assortment of vegetables, Fennel, squash, zuchini, potatoes, sweet peppers, onions and cloves of garlic and served it with salmon grilled in foil with tomatoes and basil. As I said if you hit it right the skin crisps up nicely and the retained juices from the fish moisten the vegetables. The whole combination of the rich salmon with the slightly smoky and toasty vegetables meld nicely with the toasty oak and spice notes and the buttery quality of the Chardonnay. Grilling is pretty primitive so this is very easy to make which is key for a recipe to enter my cooking repertoire. Here’s the recipe:
Grilled Vegetables:This should be enough for 4 fairly hungry people
- 1lb new potatoes unpeeled, chopped in large bite size chunks (you can use Yukon gold or other thin skinned potatoes), 1 red onion chopped in 1/8ths, 1/2 head of garlic cloves, peeled, 1 head fennel with top removed sliced about 1/2 inch thick. 1 red or yellow pepper, seeded and cut into large chunks. 1 yellow squash and 1 zuchini sliced about 1/2 thick.
- 2 perforated grilling trays. They look like cookie sheets covered with 1/2 inch holes, I used disposable foil ones. Also some extra aluminum foil
- olive or other vegetable oil in a pump sprayer, salt and pepper, rosemary dry or fresh, good quality balsamic vinegar
- Grill, I use a three burner Weber
- Parboil the potatoes until al dente, almost fork tender, 5-10 minutes. Drain and cool. Heat up grill set the three burners to medium-low
- Spray grilling trays with oil, distribute veggies evenly on both trays so that every piece contacts the bottom of the tray. Spray veggies liberally with oil and season with salt and pepper. Group the potatoes together and season them with rosemary, salt and pepper
- NB. at this point see below and prep the salmon so it is ready for the grill
- Put trays on grill, close cover and grill for 15-20 minutes. Check occasionally for browning and burning and turn the pieces as they brown.
- Once they are nicely browned pile all the veggies onto one tray, cover loosely with foil and push to the back of the grill and turn the tray sideways. Then turn off back two burners and set front burner to medium-high. continue to slow cook the veggies with this indirect heat while the salmon cooks
- at least 1/4lb per person so for 4 get a piece of fresh salmon, from the belly about 1-1.25 lbs, cut in half with the pin bones removed
- two medium sized ripe tomatoes chopped into 1/8s
- fresh or dry basil, salt and pepper, foil, oil
- Lay one of the filets on an oiled sheet of foil. cover with half the chopped tomatoes and season with salt, pepper and basil. Wrap the foil
- loosely around this ensemble into a neat package. Repeat for other filet.
- grill the salmon on the hot front burner (see vegetables, prparation above) for 10-20 minutes depending on thickness of filets and heat of the grill. Check for doneness after 10 minutes, when done the flesh should flake all the way through. Avoid over cooking though its high fat content protects it from drying out too quickly.
Move the veggies into a large bowl and toss lightly with a little balsamic vinegar
Plate up the veggies with a 1/2 filet per person, reserve salmon cooking juices and pour over veggies. If you like crispy salmon skin, it may come off in one piece from the foil with a spatula and a little luck. Serve immediately with a good, rich Chardonnay.