Salmon Gremolata Recipe
Summer is upon us and the grill has taken up its warm-weather location on our patio. As our hearts and minds turn to grilling, I am searching through cookbooks looking for some simple grilling recipes that are tasty and special enough to serve to guests. This recipe is is adapted from our friend, Jean Galton's, cookbook, Italian Grilling
(Broadway Press, 1997). Gremolata is a traditional Italian recipe usually served with osso buco. It's simple, quick and perfect for any type of fish, but especially my favorite, Sockeye salmon, The lemon and orange zest shin through nicely, and the remaining fruit and pulp are perfect additions to a summer Sangria.
A few notes about ingredients:
The original recipe calls for cooking/grilling with olive oil. But we are not big fans of using good olive oil for cooking, and we are not big fans of using bad olive oil at all. So, we have changed the recipe to use Rice Bran oil - one of the best and most versatile cooking oils available.
If you can find hard-neck garlic, you should buy it. Especially a garlic in the Rocambole family. They are sweeter than the soft-neck garlic that you will typically get in the grocery store, they are typically what you would traditionally find in Europe, and they are so much easier to work with. We sell hard-neck garlic starting in late August. If stored right, the heads will last you through the holidays -- so stock up while you can.
It's surprising how many recipes call for Kosher salt. But there is really no reason not to use sea salt instead. Price is usually the main factor, but when you consider the amount of salt you use in a recipe, the amount you will spend, even if you are using the most expensive sea salt available, is still minimal. So, we encourage you to switch to sea salt -- you mouth, body and soul will be happier for it.
3 tablespoons Rice Bran Oil
1-1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs - made from good, artisan bread
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 large garlic clove - preferably hard-neck - minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (save the lemon for Sangria)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest (ditto)
1 teaspoon sea salt - Trapani is a good option
1 teaspoon freshly ground Tellicherry pepper
6 salmon fillets - about 6 oz each - skin on
1. In a medium-sized skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of rice bran oil over medium-high heat. Add breadcrumbs and saute for about 5 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are toasted. Transfer to a small bowl, and stir in parsley, garlic,lemon zest, orange zest, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.
2. Preheat grill to high and brush with Rice Bran oil. Brush salmon with remaining oil and sprinkle with remaining salt and pepper. Place salmon skin side down on grill. Grill for 4-8 minutes - depending on the thickness of the salmon. If using Sockeye, grill on only one side for about 6-8 minutes. If using King, you should cook skin side first for about 4-6 minutes, and then flip the salmon over and cook another 4-6 minutes. (Note: Salmon is considered a fresh water fish, so it should never be eaten undercooked, unless it has been frozen first. Sushi salmon has always been frozen first.)
3. Transfer to serving plates, sprinkle with gremolata, and serve.