Recipes: By Mary James • Photography by Martin Mann
Childhood memories inspired executive chef Robert Ruiz of Harney Sushi to create this sophisticated summer salad. The sweet peppery salmon recalls a popular snack he enjoyed while salmon fishing with his grandfather on Vancouver Island. The tart berries and sweet honeysuckle blossoms carry him back to the orchard around his family’s home. He suggests paring the spicy dish with glasses of Cakebread Cellars chardonnay.
Eskimo Candy with Blackberry Salad
1 6-8 ounce filet of wild-caught Alaskan salmon
Extra virgin olive oil (for sautéing and dressing)
2 ounces real maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Small bunch of mizuna (Japanese mustard) or other mustard greens
1 cup blackberries
Small bouquet of honeysuckle flowers (optional)
1. Season the salmon filet on both sides with salt and fresh-ground pepper. In a medium sauté pan (non-stick if you have one) add a splash of olive oil and heat on medium flame. While the pan is heating, add the salmon skin side down. Sauté until salmon is cooked about 70 percent through and the skin is crispy. Then flip the salmon to sear the top.
2.Turn off the heat but leave the salmon in the pan, skin side down. Dress the fish with the maple syrup and a liberal amount of freshly ground black pepper.
3. Remove the salmon from the pan and let the salmon drain and rest on a paper towel while arranging the salad.
4. Rinse and clean the greens and blackberries. Arrange them and the honeysuckle blossoms (if you are using them) artfully on two chilled salad plates. Dress with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
5. To serve, cut the salmon into strips, reminiscent of bacon, and arrange half next to the salad on each plate.
Executive Chef Robert Ruiz