Salmon and I have always had an interesting relationship. Delicious? Absolutely. Time consuming and tedious to prepare? …sometimes. Fish can be so intimidating. Between recipes that call for extensive deboning, to recipes that call for some pretty extensive knife skills to remove the skin, salmon had just never felt accessible to me. What if I ruined a beautiful piece of fish?
I shared this opinion with Susan, who shared her personal recipe with me. Let me tell you – it’s a winner! Fresh, herbaceous, and richly flavored, this has become an easy go-to weeknight dinner for me. The brown butter lends a delightful nuttiness, and the Chardonnay ensures a tender, flavorful and perfectly moist fillet. And would you guess it? This whole time, I was just missing the wine!
For this recipe, Susan recommended using our Chardonnay grown right here on our Willamette Valley estate vineyard. A delightful French style Chardonnay, its aged in half neutral oak and half stainless steel, yielding a delightful creaminess with just a hint of butter and oak. Perfectly balanced between fruit and acid, it won’t overwhelm the salmon but rather enhance it.
2 fillets or 2 sides of salmon, deboned, with the skin on
1 teaspoon salt (or as desired)
1 teaspoon black pepper (or as desired)
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 shallot, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dill
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Chardonnay
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Debone salmon fillets by gently running your finger against the ‘grain’ of the fish, causing the bones to pop up. Using pliers, pull them out with a swift tug. Then place the salmon, skin side down, in a glass 13×9 pan.
Lightly sprinkle filets with salt and pepper.
In small saucepan, begin gently browning the butter.
While melting the butter, dice the shallots and garlic cloves.
Place the shallots and garlic cloves into the butter before it is fully browned and becomes aromatic. This is key, as we want our garlic and shallot to be lightly (but not fully) cooked.
While browning butter mixture, gently mix together dijon mustard, dill and olive oil. Gently brush over the top of the salmon.
Pulling the butter mixture from the heat, let cool for 1 minute, then lightly spoon the mixture on top of the salmon.
Add Chardonnay to the pan – the fish should be resting in 1/4 inch bath of wine.
Place in the oven for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the salmon appears opaque and flaky.
Serve with rice or couscous and a mixed green salad for a fresh and beautiful weeknight meal! Salud!