Wild Salmon & Fried Sage Gremolata

May 23, 2022
1 Ratings
Photo by Melina Hammer
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 2
Test Kitchen Notes

Reprinted with permission from A Year at Catbird Cottage: Recipes for a Nourished Life. Copyright © 2022 by Melina Hammer. Photography by Melina Hammer. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Wild Salmon & Fried Sage Gremolata
  • For the Gremolata
  • Finely grated zest from 3 lemons
  • Zest strips from 1 Meyer lemon, any bitter white pith removed, sliced very thinly
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced garlic scapes or garlic chives, or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely sliced garlic chives
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Salmon and Fried Sage
  • 1 pound wild sockeye salmon, portioned into 2 fillets
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Walnut oil
  • 1 handful fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 Meyer lemon, cut in half horizontally
  1. For the Gremolata
  2. In a small bowl, toss together lemon zest and strips, the garlic scapes, and garlic chives, and season with salt and pepper.
  1. For the Salmon and Fried Sage
  2. Prep the salmon: Pat the salmon dry and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Let sit at room temperature while you fry the sage.
  3. Fry the sage leaves: Pour 2 tablespoons walnut oil into a heavy sauté pan set over medium heat and heat until shimmering. Panfry the sage leaves—they should sizzle on contact. Cook no more than 3 minutes, turning once. They will turn a vivid green through the process. Tap excess oil from each leaf as you remove them from the pan, then place on absorbent paper set on a wire rack.
  4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and when it shimmers, place the salmon skin side down. Sear for 3 minutes, or until the flesh becomes opaque around the edges.
  5. Turn the fillets skin side up and add the butter, dragging it in between the two as it foams. Tilt the pan and baste the salmon with the hot fat, using a long-handled large spoon to avoid being burned; repeat tilting and basting for another minute as it cooks. Transfer the salmon to a serving platter.
  6. Sear the lemon halves on medium heat in the remaining butter-oil mixture, 3 minutes or until charred to your liking.
  7. Pile the fried sage leaves, layering with the gremolata mixture, onto the salmon and serve the seared lemons alongside. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve at once.

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Melina is the author of 'A Year at Catbird Cottage' with Ten Speed Press. She grows an heirloom and pollinator garden and forages wild foods at her namesake Hudson Valley getaway, Catbird Cottage. Melina loves serving curated menus for guests from near and far seeking community amidst the hummingbirds, grosbeaks, finches, and the robust flavors of the seasons.

1 Review

Guiseppe June 6, 2022
I pre-ordered this book and just received it. Melina’s cooking is often a layering of flavor and this dish is no exception. I love how simple and ‘no cook’ much of this salmon dish is. It’s easy to cook with just one pan 🥘 also.

Wonderful summer dish on the deck too! Thanks Food52 🤩