Cherries have been excellent this year and are still available in the market. I’ve used them in several recipes, most recently a baby greens salad with fresh cherries, gorgonzola cheese, and chicken with a raspberry vinaigrette, link here. The other night we dipped fresh cherries in chocolate. Ooh, la, la. I’ve been very impressed with this season’s cherry crop.
This recipe says it take only 15 minutes to prepare, but the original recipe called for frozen pitted cherries. If you use fresh cherries, which I highly recommended when they are this good, it will take a little longer to prepare because you have to pit fresh cherries. I also inserted my method of broiling salmon, which takes a little longer than the original recipe called for because I like the salmon to rest. We put our own twist on the sauce by adding a little honey and port wine. Right before serving the sauce when it’s off of the heat, adding a knob of butter will to give the sauce a nice shine.
When we cook for two people from a four person serving recipe and it has sauce, we decrease the meat of course, but always make the entire sauce. One, we love sauce and two, most sauces are good left-over on or in scrambled eggs in the morning. If you have some of this fresh cherry sauce left over, we can attest to the fact that it is great on vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
We served green beans topped with toasted almonds and brown rice sprinkled with Spanish paprika to complete the meal. Bon Appétit!
Broiled Salmon with Fresh Red Cherry Sauce
Adapted from The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet by Paulette Mitchell – serves 4
For the fish:
4 6-ounce salmon fillets, preferably with the skin left intact
2 to 3 teaspoons grape seed oil, or other neutral tasting oil
Kosher salt or sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce:
12 ounces fresh red cherries, pitted (or 12 ounce package frozen pitted red cherries)
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon cold water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon raspberry vinegar
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons port wine
A knob of butter
Cut the salmon into four pieces approximately the same size and weight. Put salmon on a plate, rub with oil, season with salt & pepper, and allow the salmon to sit at room temperature while you heat the broiler.
Preheat the broiler. Arrange the salmon in one layer, skin side down, on an unheated sheet pan lined with heavy duty foil for easy clean-up. Place the salmon under the broiler about six to seven inches from the source of heat. Broil 8 to 10 minutes or just until the pieces are cooked through. It is not necessary to turn the salmon. If salmon starts to get too crispy on the top, change from broil to bake and bake at 400 degrees until done. Do not overcook or the salmon will be dry. Allow to rest for a few minutes (I leave it for at least 5 minutes) before serving.
While the salmon is cooking, combine the cherries and orange juice in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium. Make cornstarch slurry by stirring together the water and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth. Add the slurry to the saucepan and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened to a maple-syrup consistency, about 1 ½ minutes to remove the “corn starchy flavor”. Stir in the vinegar, oil, honey and port wine and heat for a moment or two. If the sauce isn’t the right consistency, make a little more corn starch slurry. Add the additional slurry and stir for about 2 minutes to obtain the right consistency. Remove the sauce from the heat and add a knob of butter to give the sauce a shine. To serve, transfer the salmon fillets to plates and top with the warm cherry sauce.