It's hard to go wrong with grilled salmon. I'm often content to just throw it on the grill with a little salt and pepper and serve it with a quick sauce made out of nothing but plain yogurt and chopped green onion—the tangy combination is one of the easiest dressings I know, and it works.
I stumbled on this recipe in the Big Sur Bakery Cookbook, recipes adapted from the Big Sur Bakery restaurant, located along a stretch of California coast considered one of the most beautiful places on earth. Despite the name, it does a lot more than croissants.
The real draw of this recipe is the sauce, a sweet, citrusy dressing of orange, lemon, Dijon mustard, and white balsamic. (This was my first time using white balsamic dressing, which I had to buy for the recipe; it's as sweet as regular balsamic with a less pungent, show-stealing flavor). Though the original recipe calls for Meyer lemons, I substituted regular ones, which worked just fine, and actually added some welcome tartness. By itself or on greens, this would be too sweet for my taste, but it worked well with the salmon. We ate this next to a side of Swiss chard sautéed with garlic and olive oil.
- For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 3/4 cup neutral oil
- For the salmon:
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Bring the orange juice to a boil in a small saucepan and reduce 5-7 minutes until thick and syrupy. You should have about a tablespoon. Combine this with the remaining dressing ingredients except the oil in a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine, then add the oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly, to create an emulsion. Season to taste and adjust the acidity to your liking with lemon juice.
Preheat a grill and toss the salmon with the oil, parsley, salt, and pepper. Grill skin-side down first, then as the skin begins to crisp and develop grill marks, turn carefully with tongs and finish cooking on the other side to desired doneness, 3 to 4 minutes per side over high heat.
Serve with the dressing.