Pan-Roasted Salmon with Herb Butter and Beggar's Purse of Maitake Mushrooms
Pairs Well With
2 fillets of Verlasso or other sustainably farmed or wild salmon, about ¾-inch thick
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh thyme, tarragon, chive or other herb
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Pat fillets dry with a paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
Heat a heavy, 10-inch nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil. Place the fillets in the pan, skin side down (if applicable), laying them down away from your body. If fillets have skin attached, press down gently with a spatula for about 20 seconds to prevent curling.
Lower heat to medium and let sizzle until fish is golden and caramelized around the edges, about 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip fillets and add butter and thyme to pan.
Tilt the pan slightly to let the melted butter pool at one end. Use a spoon to baste the fish with the pooled butter. Continue basting until golden all over and cooked through, 45 to 90 seconds more, depending on the thickness of your fish.
Serve immediately with chopped parsley (if using) and lemon wedges along with Beggar’s Purse of Maitake Mushrooms (recipe below).
Beggar's Purse of Maitake Mushrooms
4 paper-thin slices of prosciutto or speck (a similar salumi that has been smoked)
1 pound Maitake mushrooms from Gourmet Mushrooms in Sebastopol (if possible), cut in large pieces
4 tablespoons fragrant extra-virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons butter
¼ cup or so dry white vermouth or other aromatic dry white wine
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (use a microplane if possible)
Fresh herbs such as bay, thyme, sage and rosemary
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tie herbs in little bouquets with twine. Cut four pieces of parchment paper in squares about 14 inches on each side.
Brush or drizzle the olive oil on each parchment square and place a slice of prosciutto on top. Place mushrooms on top of that along with an herb bouquet.
Add a teaspoon of butter and a tablespoon or so of vermouth to each. Sprinkle zest over the top. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Gather the edges of the parchment to form a bag and completely enclose the filling. Tie tightly with twine. Place on a baking sheet in a preheated 425°F oven and bake for 15 minutes or so or until the bags are puffed and slightly browned.
Serve the bundles alongside the fillet of salmon and let guests open on their own so they can take in the lovely aromas.
Merry’s old friend and famed local chef John Ash created these recipes to serve at a recent fundraiser for Homeward Bound of Marin. The earthiness of both dishes pairs beautifully with the Olivet Lane Pinot Noir.