This recipe is very much Northwest. Hazelnut and Marion berry (or blackberry) are two ingredients that speak about this area and the impact they have on the agriculture and culinary scene. I love salmon, hazelnut and marion berries but if the berries are not available blackberries will definitely do well here. If anything, straining the berries will be the hardest part of this recipe. I chose a Cab because it’s a little heavier of a red wine and I think it makes for a good sauce in this recipe. And the best part, the Hazelnut crusted Salmon is delicious by itself as well as the sauce (which can be used for other meats etc…)
So I hope you enjoy a little of the Pacific Northwest with this dish.
1 tsp fresh Tarragon, finely chopped or ½ tsp dried Tarragon, minced
Cabernet Berry Sauce:
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other preferred red wine
2 cups Marion Berries or Blackberries, rinsed and drained or patted dry
1 tsp Lemon Zest
2 tps fresh Lemon Juice
1-2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
½ Tbsp fresh Ginger, minced or ½ tsp Ground Ginger
Fresh Dill and Parsley, rough chopped to garnish if desired.
Preheat oven to 375
Lined a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Rinse Salmon and pat dry. Place the Salmon on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Mix the salt and pepper together and lightly salt and pepper each Salmon.
In a food processor pulse the hazelnut until it looks like sand. Don’t worry if it looks slightly rough. You don’t want it very fine anyway. Add in the thyme, panko crumbs, garlic, lemon zest and tarragon and a little of the olive oil and pulse until combined. You want to add enough of the olive oil to get a slightly wet crumb mixture so it will stick and stay on the salmon. However, take caution to not over pulse or add too much olive oil to the mixture because you don’t want to end up with a paste or a very wet crumb mixture. You want it to look like a nut crumb.
Spoon enough of the hazelnut mixture to cover each Salmon steak or fillet well. Bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through (but don’t overcook or the salmon may be a little dry) and the Hazelnut mixture is a nice golden brown.
As the Salmon bakes – prepare for the sauce
In a saucepan add the wine and berries and cook on low heat, for about five minutes, until the berries are soft. Let cool. Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer, mashing the berries through the strainer over a 1 – 2 quart saucepan. Check to see if you need to scrap the mashed berries from the bottom of the strainer. Discard any residue and seeds from the strainer.
Add to the wine berry mixture in the saucepan the lemon zest and juice, brown sugar and minced ginger. Bring the berry mixture to a slow low boil and cook for about 15 minutes until the sauce has reduced and slightly thicken up. Taste and add in additional sugar if needed or salt and continue to cook until sugar is dissolved. To check to see if the mixture has thickened, you can dip a spoon into the sauce and if it slightly holds to the back of a spoon then it should be perfect. Be sure not to overcook the sauce so that you create a jammy thickness.
To Plate, drizzle the sauce on individual plates or a platter and place the Hazelnut Salmon on top. Garnish with the chopped Dill Parsley if desired.
And if you have individuals that do not like a ‘fruit sauce’ or any fruit on a meat entrée, place the Cabernet Berry Sauce in a small bowl and individuals can drizzle on their plate or over their salmon if desired.
I like to pair this with parsley rice and roasted vegetables or grilled asparagus or a nice green salad.
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