Grilled Salmon in Ravigote Sauce

by Jessica Sliman in


Jacques Pepin has been our greatest discovery since getting rid of cable. I love his accent and that he cooks with his daughter and granddaughter. And have you noticed he's always drinking wine?

Since we have about ten channels (half of which are Vietnamese or in Spanish), we've become PBS junkies. I love the personalities of the hosts on PBS cooking shows. They're informative but funny. Warm but never over the top. I enjoy these shows so much more than the larger than life personalities you find on cable cooking shows (Alton Brown excluded).  Between Jacques and Christopher Kimball on America's Test Kitchen, we're pretty much set.

Salmon in Ravigote is simple and relies on the fresh flavor of good produce and a good piece of fish. Ravigote means "to invigorate" in French . Yep, we've got that covered here. The fish is brought to a new level with the lemon, oil, parsley, tomato, scallion and onion. This dish blows me away every time we make it and it makes me happy to know we are learning to prepare such delicious dinners at home.

We would normally make this for dinner but since we decided to embark on potty training and were staying home anyway, we made this for lunch on Sunday. (Honestly, I kind of begged him. I've wanted to document this delicious meal for a while and that's impossible in the evening with the winter sun).

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We used a piece of Chinook we got from the Farmer's Market on Saturday. It was super fresh (sashimi grade so we could have eaten it raw!). Since we've been buying less meat and fish, when we do buy it, we look for really high quality. Everything I've read says to buy wild salmon which has less contaminants and more nutritional value. Wild salmon is a rich source of protein, vitamin D, selenium, B2, B3, B6, B12 and omega-3 fatty acids. Winner winner salmon dinner.

There's a fair bit of chopping involved to make the sauce but neither one of us minds that work. We have the girls help by pulling parsley leaves off the stems. And they love salmon since we started calling it "The Princess Fish" (thanks to Dinner A Love Story for that one).  I really love the way it tastes off the grill but the original recipe calls for poaching the salmon.  I'm not much of a griller so if Donovan wasn't here, I'd slow roast it at 250 degrees in the oven.

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INGREDIENTS

SAUCE
2 plum tomatoes (5 ounces), halved, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (3/4 cup)
1 tablespoon drained capers
2–3 scallions, trimmed (leaving some green) and chopped (1/3 cup)
1/3 cup chopped scallion
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped (1 teaspoon)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1.25 lb piece of salmon, skin on

FOR THE SAUCE: Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

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PREPARATION

  1. Prepare your grill - we use charcoal with briquet holders so we have areas of high and low heat - and spread sauce on top of salmon.
  2. Place the salmon, skin side down, directly above the charcoals in the briquet holders. Allow to cook over high heat until the skin is scorched and about 1/4" of the salmon looks cooked. This takes about 5-10 minutes depending on the heat.
  3. Slide a large metal flipper between the salmon skin and flesh - the skin should come right off - and move the fish to the middle of the grill to finish cooking over indirect heat. Place the lid on the grill and check periodically for the appropriate doneness. This will vary quite a bit depending on the piece of fish and temperature of the grill. Ours took an additional 15 minutes. You can cut into the fillet with a knife or press down with your finger tips (it should feel firm but not hard. If it's still raw, it will feel squishy).

And of course, you can also poach it likes Jacques suggests.

Happy Monday to you all. And happy Christmas Eve's Eve!