Roasted Salmon with Rosè Spicy Cherry Sauce

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The Cherries on top

We could take salmon for granted. It is a delicious fish that we love so much we could eat it at least once a week. Since I’m most of my day doing my daughter’s assigned neurological programs, I truly love any dish that could basically be cooked by itself. Cue salmon fillets sizzling in the oven while I’m feeling as a badass cook that can handle anything thrown at her!

What I like to do is season the fillets well with salt and ground garlic, ground ginger most of the times, and a splash of fresh lemon juice. I will place some chopped herbs on top, probably thyme or rosemary, and place them in a 425° oven for about 15 minutes. This way the fish is going to cook fast but it’s still going to be moist on the inside. I like to drizzle olive oil and honey during the last 5 to 7 minutes to create those perfect crispy corners. These will usually go on top of mashed sweet potatoes. Delicious!

One day, maybe because of the colors of the season or maybe because I’ve been wanting to make a savory cherry sauce after trying a meat dish with some in NYC, I though on making a more intentional salmon recipe and pairing it with sweet and delicious cherries. I knew I wanted to make it spicy to balance out all the other flavors. I crusted the salmon with salt and ground mustard and I’m happy to tell that the mustard kick was a really nice touch against the salmon fat. It’s a kick that you will appreciate but you won’t notice.

What I ended loving about this dish is how you can create something so delicious and beautiful in under 25 minutes. It is a festive summer dish. Imagine this in the center of your table for a lovely summer lunch, with lots of fresh veggies and lots of Rosè. Imagining or actually doing it, the feeling of joy in you will be the same. In my case I just imagined it. In reality I made some sautéed potatoes and we ate our Sunday lunch relaxed and probably watching a feel good Sunday movie. But the Rosè, that was very real!

Recipe notes:

1.    The quantities for the salt and mustard are based for a whole big fish. If using individual fillets, reduce some of the amounts. The important thing is that you see the flesh crusted with the salt and mustard.

2.    You absolutely can make this in advance, if serving this for guests. Actually, the flavors will be even better. Just leave the two components separated. When ready to serve, let the salmon come to room temperature, then heat it in a 200° oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Heat the sauce in simmer and add the Rosè and the extra pinch of salt then so those flavors feel fresh.

Roasted Salmon with Spicy Rose Cherry Sauce

Whole salmon fillet – 3lbs
Fine sea salt – About 5 TBSP
Ground mustard – 3 Tsp
Olive oil – 3 to 4 TBSP
Honey – 2 to 3 Tsp

Spicy Rosè Cherry Sauce

Pitted cherries – 4 cups
Raw sugar – ½ cup
Freshly squeezed lemon juice – 3 TBSP
Water – 1 cup
Cornstarch – 2 TBSP
Fine sea salt – ¼ Tsp + a pinch to taste
Red Chili Flakes – ¼ to ½ Tsp
Rosè wine (optional) – 2 TBSP

To make the salmon: Preheat oven to 425°.

Pat dry the salmon fillet. Gently rub both sides of it with the salt and ground mustard. Drizzle half of the olive oil just on one side. Place in an oven proof pan or over a baking rack placed in a baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on size and thickness. During the last 5 minutes take it out of the oven and drizzle the remaining of the olive oil and the honey to make that top golden. Retire from oven. Pour cherry sauce on top and serve.

To make the sauce: Dilute the cornstarch in 2 of the tablespoons of water.

In a small to medium saucepan combine all the ingredients except the pinch of salt, chili flakes and wine. Bring to boil in medium heat. Lower the heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes. Retire from heat and add the extra pinch of salt, the chili flakes to taste and the wine. Return to burner and cook for 1 extra minute. Retire from heat and let it cool down a bit before pouring over salmon.