In this recipe, fennel and dill harmonize to evoke a toasty beginning of fall. The roundess of the poached salmon & crème is offset by the fresh citrus and spice of the radish, matching the body of our 2020 Bicentennial Chardonnay.
Recipe by Kristen Murray via Sunset Magazine
1 king salmon fillet with skin (2 to 2 1/2 lbs. and about 1 in. thick; cut from tail end), pin bones removed*
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
1 small shallot, thinly sliced crosswise, separated into rings
1 small, tender fennel bulb, trimmed and very thinly sliced on a diagonal, a few feathery leaves reserved (or use torn carrot tops)
1/4 to 1/2 cup dry white vermouth, such as Dolin
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
About 1 tsp. flake sea salt, such as Maldon, divided
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
5 juniper berries, crushed with fingers
Paper-thin radish slices (2 or 3 radishes)
1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 large ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons roasted hazelnut oil*
2 tablespoons dry white vermouth such as Dolin
1 cup crème fraîche
About 1 tsp. flake sea salt such as Maldon
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
1. Preheat oven to 325°.
2. Prepare the dill crème:
2a. Pulse coriander in a food processor to break up. Add remaining ingredients except for salt and dill; whirl until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Scrape sauce into a bowl and fold in dill.
3. Cut a sheet of 18-in.-wide heavy-duty foil three times as long as salmon and center it on a rimmed baking sheet, letting ends hang over. Set salmon, skin side down, on foil. Sprinkle fish evenly with orange zest, shallot, and fennel bulb. Bring corners and sides of foil up around salmon to make a canoe with 2-in. sides.
4. Pour orange juice into a glass measuring cup and add vermouth to make 3/4 cup. Microwave until steaming (about 170°) and pour evenly over fish. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. oil and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 tsp. salt, the pepper, coriander, and juniper berries. Tightly roll ends and sides of foil together to create a pouch.
5. Bake salmon until cooked through three-quarters of the way from edge to center of thickest part (which will still look wet; open foil and cut fish to check), 12 to 25 minutes, depending on thickness.
6. Slide two long metal spatulas under fish and carefully transfer to a long platter (Murray likes to use a madeleine pan), leaving poaching liquid behind. Sprinkle radishes, about 1/2 tsp. salt, and remaining 1 tbsp. oil over fish. Scatter torn fennel fronds on top. Serve with Dill Crème
As noted above, the body of our 2020 Bicentennial Chardonnay is just right for the weight of this dish. The oak signature is light on this Chardonnay, and therefore the purity of the fruit flavors mingle with the orange while the minerality complements the green spices of the dish.