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This Old Chef: Blog & Recipes

David Pisegna's Herb-Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Sauce

Posted on April 21, 2017 with 0 comments

As promised, here is David Pisegna's brilliant recipe for Herb-Roasted Salmon with Pinot Noir Sauce, a dish that's brought us so much joy on special occasions over the past 30 years...

Just do it.  Make it.  Love it.

Herb-Roasted King Salmon with Pinot Noir Sauce

(4 servings)

Herb-roasted salmon served with a rich butter sauce is a specialty at Seattle’s Sorrento Hotel.

2 T plus 2 t peanut oil

1 shallot, chopped

1/3 C coarsely chopped mushrooms

1/2 C Pinot Noir

5 sprigs of fresh tarragon

5 sprigs of fresh thyme

5 sprigs of fresh fennel tops

1/2 C fish stock or bottled clam juice

1/4 C heavy cream

1 stick (4 oz.) unsalted butter

1 t fresh lemon juice

1/2 t salt

1/4 t freshly ground pepper

4 salmon fillets with skin on (about 6 oz. each), preferably King Salmon

1.  In a medium saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over high heat.  Stir in the shallot and mushrooms and sauté until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the wine and 1 sprig each of tarragon, thyme and fennel.  Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.  Add the stock and cream and cook until reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in 4 tablespoons of the butter.  Strain the sauce.  Stir in the lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper; cover and set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 400˚.  Season the fish with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  In a large heavy skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over high heat.  Add the salmon fillets, skin-side up, and sauté, turning once, until lightly browned, about 1 minute on each side.

3.  With a wide spatula, remove the fillets and invert them into a baking dish.  Using a knife, carefully peel back the skin from each fillet, leaving it attached at the end.  Place 1 sprig each of tarragon, thyme and fennel and 1 tablespoon of butter on top of each piece of fish.  Cover with the skin and bake until the fish is opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes.

4.  Remove the skin and herbs from each fillet.  Spoon 2 tablespoons of the warm sauce onto each of 4 dinner plates.  Place a fillet on top.  Garnish with additional herbs, if desired, and serve at once.

--- David Pisegna, The Sorrento Hotel, Seattle

(Originally published in The Best of Food & Wine 1988 Collection)