King Salmon

The gang’s all here.  Morels, asparagus, new potatoes, big crunchy heads of lettuce.  The farmers market is bursting with spring veg.  Now the salmon are running.  The first of these mighty fish made it to Seattle last week.

The cooking style in my kitchen has  shifted from long slow languorous methods to quicker preparations aimed at preserving the young, sweet, fresh qualities of the springtime.  Thick filets of king salmon are marinated briefly in olive oil, crushed garlic, and rosemary springs.  They are then seared and finished in the oven.  375˚F for 6-7 minutes should do the trick.  Check for flakiness and pull the pan out of the oven just before.

The asparagus is being grilled. The go in the pan at the last minute.  The tender stalks take no time at all to cook.  Some of the morels were cooked last night and enjoyed over crostini.  The remaining fungi will get the same cooking treatment – sautée in butter with minced garlic, shallot, and thyme.

The deep musky flavor of the mushrooms, combined with the gamey flavor of the salmon calls for a wine with naturally high acidity and medium body.  Here in the Pacific Northwest Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley is a natural choice.  The wine’s inherent woodsy flavors make it a natural partner with mushrooms and salmon.

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