Grilled Salmon on a Bed of Warm Wilted Greens
This may be the finest outdoor meal ever. Grilled salmon is placed on a bed of tangy vinaigrette and wiltedgreens and served with a relish of tomatoes, onions, olives, garlic, and capers. The salmon is oiled before it goes on the grill; Chef Jordan tells how to get perfect grill marks, by orienting the salmon toward 2 o’clock, then toward 10 o’clock on the grill as it sears. All this recipe needs is a group of good friends.
- Yellow Pepper Vinaigrette (makes 2-1/2 cups)
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Yellow Bell Peppers - 4, diced, small
- Yellow Onion - 1/2, diced, small
- Champagne Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Bay Leaf - 1
- Thyme - 1 sprig, stemmed
- Rosemary - 1 sprig, stemmed
- Egg - 1
- Peanut Oil - 2 cups
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Provincial Relish (makes 3 cups)
- Sun-dried tomatoes - 2 cups, soaked in hot water until soft, drained, and julienned
- Vidalia - 1 small, julienned (alt. other sweet white onion)
- Kalamata Olives - 1/4 cup, pitted and julienned
- Garlic Cloves - 1/4 cup, trimmed at the root end and roasted until soft and golden brown
- Capers - 1/4 cup, rinsed well in cold water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Balsamic Vinaigrette (makes 5 cups)
- Garlic Cloves - 3
- Kosher salt - 1 tablespoon
- Shallots - 2 tablespoons, minced
- Dijon mustard - 3 tablespoons
- Sugar - 2 tablespoons
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1 cup
- Peanut Oil - 4 cups
- Freshly ground white pepper - 1 teaspoon
- King Salmon Fillets - Six, 6-ounce
- Peanut Oil - 6 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Unsalted Butter - 3 ounces (6 tablespoons)
- Shallots - 3, finely diced
- Mixed baby greens - 9 ounces
- Belgian endive - 18 spears
- Provencial Relish (above) - 3 cups
- Balsamic Vinaigrette (above) - 1/4 cup
- Yellow Pepper Vinaigrette (above) - 2 cups
- Basil leaves - 12, cut in chiffonade (very narrow strips)
To make the yellow pepper vinaigrette: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the peppers and onions, cover loosely, and sweat the vegetables until they are softened but not browned. Add the vinegar, wine, and herbs and simmer until almost dry. Let cool to room temperature. Put the mixture in a food processor or blender and puree. Add the egg and run for 30 seconds. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a thin film to form an emulsion. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper; if the mixture is too thick, thin with a tablespoon or two of cool water. Cover with plastic wrap and chill.
To make the provencial relish: Combine all ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic and set aside in a cool place until ready to use. To store, place in the refrigerator.
To make the balsamic vinaigrette: Crush the garlic cloves with the side of a chef’s knife. Sprinkle the salt over the garlic and begin rubbing the salt into the garlic with the flat side of the knife to make a smooth paste. Place the garlic and all ingredients except the oil in a food processor or lender and run for 30 seconds. With the machine running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream to form an emulsion. Adjust seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside in a cool place.
To prepare the salmon: Light the grill at least 20 minutes before you are ready to serve. Place 6 large plates in a warm oven. Oil and season the salmon fillets. Put the butter and shallots in a medium stainless steel bowl and place the bowl in a warm spot on the grill to begin melting the butter and softening the shallots. Place the salmon on the grill face-down in the 2 o’clock position to start the grill marks. Sear the salmon for 2 minutes. Lift carefully with a long spatula and turn to the 10 o’clock position, creating criss-cross grill marks; do not turn the salmon over at this point. After 4 minutes flip the salmon and cook another 4 to 6 minutes, until the fillets are cooked through and opaque throughout. As soon as you have flipped the salmon fillets, add the greens to the bowl with the butter and shallots. Toss well to coat and season with salt and pepper. In a medium stainless steel bowl, combine the relish and balsamic vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve: Take the warmed plates out of the oven. Place about 2 ounces of Yellow Pepper Vinaigrette in the center of each. Taste the baby greens for seasoning and place a small handful of greens in the middle of the sauce. Top each with a salmon fillet, grill-marks up. Stir the provincial relish-vinaigrette mixture and check seasoning; spoon over the top of the salmon, allowing it to run where it will. Garnish with basil chiffonade.