Grilled Salmon with Asparagus & Pickled Vegetables
by Chef Kelly Hartman
- 4 5-7 ounce pieces of salmon filet, pin bones and skin removed
- 1 bunch pencil asparagus, woody stems removed
- 1 bunch French breakfast radishes, green tops removed, washed, and quartered
- 5-6 large cloves garlic, cut into eighth inch thick slices
- 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3-4 sprigs fresh cilantro
- 1 large carrot, peeled and cut on the bias to quarter inch slices
- 1 medium red onion, julienned to about quarter inch thick.
- 2 cups seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon ketchup
- extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt
For the pickled vegetables
- In a 4-6 quart sauce pot, combine the radishes, half of the remaining garlic, carrot, red onion, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, and ketchup. If the liquid does not cover the vegetables, add just enough water to cover them. Season with 2 teaspoons salt.
- Bring the mixture to a steady simmer over high heat, and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the carrots are slightly cooked, but still retain their crunch. Strain the vegetables and place them aside.
- Return the vinegar solution to the stove, add the coriander sprigs whole and reduce for 8-10 minutes over medium heat, until the solution has come down by half and is beginning to thicken. Pour the hot solution back over vegetables, and set aside until ready to serve. (If you want, you can make these vegetables well in advance, and they can be served either warm or cold.
For the salmon
- Remove the leaves from 2 sprigs of the thyme and place in a large shallow bowl or casserole dish with 3-4 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the garlic slices. Gently toss the salmon filets in the marinade, then refrigerate until ready to grill.
- Light the grill.
- Grill the salmon over low coals (or reasonably low setting on a gas grill) to your preferred temperature.
For the asparagus
- While the salmon is on the grill, heat a 10-12 inch skillet over high heat, and add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. When the oil begins to give off a faint trace of smoke, add the raw asparagus spears to the pan, spreading them as evenly as possible on the bottom of the pan.
- Cook over high heat for 3-7 minutes (depending on the heat of your stove and the thickness of the asparagus), tossing only once or twice during the cooking process. The desired result is crunchy (but not raw) with a dark caramelization (it may seem almost burned). When this is achieved, add the remaining garlic slivers and thyme sprigs, remove from heat, and toss thoroughly, allowing the flavor of the herbs and garlic to infuse into the mixture. Season generously with sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper.
- Divide the asparagus between four plates, and place the grilled fish directly on top. Spoon a generous portion of the pickled vegetables over top and drizzle with a few spoonfuls of the syrup. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve immediately.