As you may have noticed by now… my favorite recipes are almost always inspired by a friend! This baked salmon was discovered by Hannah Siegrist one hot Southern Hemisphere Christmas in South Africa. Hannah is a dear friend, deeply creative and supremely talented in the kitchen. She’s also an international (I’m not kidding) photographer; you MUST look at her beautiful pictures! I still think Hannah has a secret touch for this recipe because it’s always better when she makes it… but here is my version of the recipe as I best remember it.
Here’s is the lovely Hannah – so beautiful and free!
I whipped up a serving of this at a friend’s house last week, and it was eaten fast. The fresh orange with the richness of the butter and wine is a beautiful flavor combination that entices even the most timid fish-eater.
note: I think we first got the inspiration for this recipe from Martha Stewart. But I’ve searched and searched for that original recipe online and cannot find it. The recipe posted here is from my memory of what Hannah created and I’ve since been cooking! Just wanted to give credit where it’s due!
6 wild caught Salmon fillets (skin on is very healthy but it doesn't really matter for the recipe)
3 leeks, sliced thinly and thoroughly rinsed. (about 2 cups)
3 red shallots, also sliced thinly (about 3/4 cup)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
juice of 1 large orange (about 1/4 cup)
zest of that 1 large orange (about 2 Tbsp )
1/4 cup of grass-fed butter (trust me, you won't regret this)
1 cup of sweet white wine such as a Riesling
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1 handful cilantro, diced (about 1/2 cup)
orange and red shallot slices for garnish
First off, line a baking sheet with tin-foil. This will save lots of scrubbing later. Preheat your oven to 400 F / 200 C
In a skillet, melt that lovely butter over medium heat (we don't want to burn it) and slowly sauté the leeks, shallots and garlic. Once it gets going ( about 2 mins) turn it down to a low heat and let it slowly 'sweat' until the leeks and shallots are really soft, but still translucent ( i.e. not browned). This takes about 10 mins.
Into that skillet add the wine and crank the heat up to high so that the alcohol content of the wine cooks off. Turn the heat back down once it's bubbled for 2-3 minutes. Add the orange juice and zest, sea salt and half of the cilantro. Allow to simmer for about 5 mins on that low heat so the juices evaporate a bit and you begin to get a little more of a syrupy liquid.
Ok, now for the fun part. Spoon the leek/shallot mixture onto your tin-foil lined baking sheet, then arrange the Salmon fillets on top of it. Scatter the rest of the cilantro on top of the salmon, along with the fresh orange and shallot slices. I like to make it look pretty... but that's up to you;)
Pop it into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Don't worry about how well it's cooked through... 15 mins will get it done nicely without overcooking it! Best if served immediately.