Merry Edwards Winery - Russian River Valley

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Grilled Wild Salmon with a Roasted Beet and Arugula Salad

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Serves 6
Merry loved this combination and it's great with lower tannin red wines such as Pinot Noir. The beets can be roasted a day ahead and the jus also made ahead and warmed for service. The recipe also calls for using baby beets. If you can’t find them, use large beets cut into wedges before roasting.

Salmon

Ingredients:

6 six-ounce salmon fillets or steaks (preferably wild caught)
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups or so tender young arugula leaves, washed
 

Preparation:

Remove any bones from the salmon. Brush with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill salmon over moderately hot coals on both sides until cooked medium rare (still translucent in the center). Arrange roasted beets and arugula attractively on plates; preferably shallow soup or pasta plates. Place salmon alongside and drizzle a couple of tablespoons of the reduction around.

Roast Beets

Ingredients:

12 each baby red and golden beets

Preparation:

Scrub beets thoroughly, remove and save greens for another use. Lightly oil beets with olive oil and roast in a pan loosely covered with foil until tender. Time will depend on size of beets. Baby beets will take 30 to 40 minutes. Large beets if roasted whole can take as long as 2 hours. Remove and with a towel rub off the skins. Set aside.

Balsamic reduction

Ingredients:

1 large clove garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons chopped dried mushrooms such as porcini or shiitake
2 1/2 cups rich chicken or fish stock
1/4 cup or so good quality balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon softened butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation:

Add the garlic, rosemary and dried mushrooms to the stock and reduce over high heat by half. Add vinegar and continue to reduce to a light sauce consistency. This can take 20 minutes or more. Strain carefully and whisk in butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm. If making ahead wait until serving time to whisk in butter. To store, cover and refrigerate up to 1 week.

About this Recipe

In addition to being a renowned chef, author, and food and wine educator, many refer to Chef John Ash as the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine.” In 1980 he opened his namesake restaurant, John Ash & Company, in Santa Rosa. It was the first restaurant in Northern California wine country to focus on local, seasonal ingredients used to create dishes that complemented the wines being made in the region. It continues to be critically acclaimed today.

John has moved on to many other ventures since that first restaurant. Every Saturday local fans tune into The Good Food Hour, a food and wine radio talk show he has co-hosted for more than two decades on KSRO (1350 AM) in Northern California. He has also hosted his own TV show on the Food Network and is occasionally featured in other TV shows. John travels the world teaching cooking classes to both home cooks and professionals. He is an adjunct instructor at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley. He still holds true to his philosophy of cooking with ingredients that are ethically grown and created locally and in season. And for John, wine is always considered an essential part of the flavors of a meal.

John has written four books. John Ash Cooking One-on-One: Kitchen Secrets from a Master Teacher, won a 2005 James Beard Award. His three other books include: From the Earth to the Table: John Ash’s Wine Country Cuisine, American Game Cooking, and his most recent Culinary Birds, released in 2013.