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Seared Salmon with Onions & Rhubarb



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DiSpirito’s Seared Salmon with
Onions & Rhubarb

Food and Wine 2000: An Entire Year's Recipes from America's Favorite Food Magazine
Food and Wine 2000:
An Entire Year's Recipes from
America's Favorite Food Magazine

Food & Wine Books, Editor in Chief Judith Hill,
2000, American Express Publishing Corp.

“Rocco DiSpirito is the chef at Union Pacific in New York City. To ensure
crispness in these seared salmon fillets, he recommends starting the fish skin
side down, pressing the fillet with a spatula. The skin will stick at first; when
it releases, flip the fish over. In early summer, when it’s in season, lean, wild
Alaskan Copper River Salmon is DiSpirito’s favorite fish. But any wild salmon would be delicious for this complexly flavored main course.”

 SeaBear Fresh Copper River Sockeye Salmon

This "Straight-from-the-River" offering of fresh Copper River
Sockeye Salmon fillets is an exclusive opportunity for you to
enjoy this extraordinary wild salmon... straight from the most
legendary wild salmon run in the world.

4 servings

1 1/2 cups dry fino Sherry
1/4 cup turbinado or palm sugar (see Note)
1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed and sliced
diagonally 1/3 inch thick
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound bulb onions or sweet white
onions, thinly sliced (see Note)
1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
1 thyme sprig
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound fava beans, shelled
Four 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin on
Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1. In a medium saucepan, combine the Sherry with the sugar and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rhu-
barb and cook until just tender, about 1 minute. Strain the rhubarb in a
colander set over a bowl to catch the cooking liquid. Return the liquid
to the saucepan and boil over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about
8 minutes.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook over
low heat, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the stock and
thyme and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over
low heat until the onions are tender, about 8 minutes.
3. In a medium saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the fava beans for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a bowl and refresh
under cool running water. Peel off the tough bean skins and add the
favas to the onions.
4. Heat a cast-iron skillet. Lightly coat the salmon fillets with some oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the salmon, skin side down, over moderately high heat until the skin is very crisp, about 4 minutes.
Turn the salmon fillets and cook over moderate heat until they are
barely cooked through, about 4 minutes more, depending on the
thickness of the fillets.
5. To serve, discard the thyme sprig and rewarm the onion mixture; add
the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Bring the sherry-
rhubarb liquid to a boil and add the cooked rhubarb. Spoon rhubarb
onto 4 large plates and set the onion mixture alongside. Top with the
salmon fillets and serve at once.

- Rocco DiSpirito

Note: Turbinado sugar is available at most supermarkets, and palm sugar
is available at Asian groceries. Bulb onions, which are immature onions
harvested early in the season, are available in the produce department of
some supermarkets and in most specialty food stores.

Wine: Salmon is meaty enough to match with light red wines or big white
wines, but the tangy rhubarb, sweet spring onions and earthy fava beans
in this dish make a big, fruity, opulent California Chardonnay the best bet.
Consider the 1997 Byron Santa Maria Valley Estate or the 1997 Au Bon
Climat Santa Barbara County.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Spiced Steamed Salmon with Chutney and Chard
Slow-Roasted Salmon with Red Wine Risotto, Wild
Thyme and Tiny White Asparagus

Salmon en Papillote from Julia and Jacques
Oven-Steamed Salmon on a Bed of Aromatic Vegetables 

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