Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Grilled King Salmon via a Boat, a Whale and a Walrus

The A Boat, A Whale & A Walrus cookbook (story book really) from Renee Erickson, Seattle restaurateur, and now cookbook author, was one of the best Christmas presents I received this year. My daughter, Allison, surprised me in Seattle at Christmas; I didn't think she could leave NYC, and was totally bummed out.  Between Allison, Alex and Tom they all hid the secret.  She was the best present, but the cookbook she brought me was a nice surprise too!

So of course, I needed an occasion to try something delish and fabulous out on my friends! Caution: There might have been more than a little bit of wine involved...

Absolutely scrumptious salmon recipe with a few little tricky things to keep in mind:

1. A food processor makes a world of difference in creating the Tarator

2. There are a lot of steps, but this is a fairly easy recipe without a lot of unusual ingredients.

3.. Start with really fresh salmon

4. Serve Wine

5. Invite friends to share!

Grilled King Salmon with Walnut Tarator and Cherry Tomato Salad
1 (3 1/2 -4 pound) salmon fillet
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Kosher Salt for seasoning
Finishing oil for drizzling
Flaky Sea Salt (or Mediterranean Sea Salt) also for finishing

Walnut Tarator:
2 cups whole walnuts, toasted (ask me and I can tell you how-super easy!)
1 cup, 1-inch artisanal bread chunks
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 smashed glove garlic
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup of water
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Cherry Tomato Salad:
2 pints cherry tomatoes (I like the little heirloom variety also!)
1 pound English cucumbers (avoiding excessive seeds)
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh dill
Julienned peel and juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea Salt for finishing

Grill the Salmon: 
Preheat charcoal or gas grill for cooking over medium heat around 375 degrees F. Brush the salmon with olive oil and season to taste with kosher salt.  Grill the salmon without turning until just cooked through at the ends. With the grill lid closed, should take about 30 minutes - all depends on size of fish and how thick the center is.   Super super simple.

*we used Suzanne's Jenn-Aire grill in her beach house kitchen- way too cold to be outside!

While the salmon is grilling, make the walnut tarator:
Place toasted walnuts, bread cubes, lemon juice, garlic and kosher salt in your food processor or heavy duty blender (trust me, the food processor is easier!)  Pour the water over the bread mixture, pulse a few times to blend then turn on high speed until smooth, adding the olive oil steadily as you blend together.

Grab your favorite serving platter and spread the tarator out in a "puddle" evenly on the platter and set aside.

Make the Salad:
Combine all of the ingredients, give it a few swirls to mix together well and then season to taste with kosher salt, or if you prefer a flaky sea salt.

When the salmon is done, simply place serving sized pieces onto of the walnut tarator and spoon the tomato salad on top.  Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a shower of sea salt.

Trust me, there won't be one bit left....


Like I said, there might have been wine and lots of laughter involved....

You can buy the fabulous A Boat, A Whale and A Walrus at - it's on my page of favorites on their website: Caron's Beach Reads 

P.S.  A few ideas for a fun serving platter!

Not exactly a salmon - but I just love this happy fish platter!

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