Chef Chris Starkus
Pairing salmon with a fresh fruit chutney gives grilled fish a summery twist. Chef Starkus balances the chutney’s sweetness with briny olives and tart blood orange juice—flavors that complement the slightly salty and smoky cedar-planked salmon.
6 oz. salmon, skin-on, brined
3 oz. broccolini, blanched
2 oz. Salsify Puree (recipe follows)
2 oz. Charred Grape, Olive, Blood Orange Chutney (recipe follows)
Lemon olive oil, to taste
5.5 lbs. cedar planks
3 gal. water
24 tbsp. salt
24 tbsp. brown sugar
3 oz. molasses
2 tbsp. chili flakes
5 bags salsify, peeled and cut into 2-in. length
2 tbsp. red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste
Cream, to cover
Charred Grape, Olive and Blood Orange Chutney
3 cups red grapes, rinsed
1 1/2 cups blood or navel orange segments
3/4 cup olives, crushed and pitted
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. For brined salmon: Place cedar planks and water into hotel pan fitted with a half rack to keep planks submerged in water. Simmer for 1 hour, until reduced to 10 quarts. Strain through fine mesh strainer and whisk in remaining ingredients. Cool at room temperature. Place salmon pieces in brine for 45 minutes then remove and pat dry with paper towel.
2. For salsify puree: Cut salsify crosswise into coin-shapes. Cover with cream and simmer on stove until tender. Add pepper flake and salt. Puree in blender and strain through mesh strainer.
3. For charred grape, olive and blood orange chutney: Heat rondeau pan on high heat for 3 minutes. Add all grapes and let stand to char. Shake as needed to evenly char. Cool grapes and cut in half. Add blood orange segments and pitted olives and mix with hands. Add olive oil, salt and black pepper. Let stand for at least 1 hour before using, as residual juices will come out and marinate final product.
4. To serve, sear salmon skin side down. Saute broccolini in olive oil and season. Place smear of salsify puree in center of plate and top with finished salmon. Spoon charred grape-olive chutney on top of salmon and garnish with lemon olive oil.
Photo courtesy of California Table Grape Commission