Today is solstice, the longest day of the year! Each summer in mid-June the sun rises high in the sky and lingers at its zenith before stretching ever so slowly into twilight. Since ancient times, peoples around the world have celebrated solstice with feasts and much rejoicing to commemorate the seasonal ebb and flow of light. Many consider it to be an auspicious event, and believe it brings good luck, abundance and prosperity.
For me, solstice marks the high season of summer harvest, and its bountiful pleasures . . . which is why I created this sun-sational recipe for Solstice Salmon with Mint-Herb Chimichurri which combines the best elements of sea and earth to savor the moment.
This entree is prepared by poaching wild salmon on the BBQ, sealed in a foil pouch with a little white wine. Crowned with a refreshing sauce of mint and herbs, it’s a simple and delicious dinner befitting the occasion. I highly recommend serving it with a glass of chilled Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc while you delight in nature’s longest day.
SOLSTICE SALMON with MINT-HERB CHIMICHURRI
Printable recipe: Solstice Salmon with Mint-Herb Chimichurri
For the chimichurri sauce:
- 1 cup fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1-2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- dash of red pepper flakes (adjust according to heat preference)
- 1/3-1/2 cup best quality olive oil
For the salmon:
- wild salmon, preferably fresh (about 6 ounces per person).
- dry white wine
- heavy-duty aluminum foil
- fresh lemon slices (optional)
- To make the chimichurri, combine all ingredients (except olive oil) in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine while drizzling in olive oil. The chimichurri should be a little chunky, not pureed. Add additional olive oil for a thinner consistency. *Best if made at least 3 hours in advance which allows time for the flavors to develop.
- Heat a BBQ grill to high.
- Tear off a rectangle of heavy-duty aluminum foil large enough to hold a single serving of salmon at the center with room to fold the edges and create a pouch (approximately 16″ long x 18″ wide depending on the size of the serving).
- Place a salmon slice in the center of the foil, skin side down, and bring all the edges of the foil together, first at the sides, then at the top, around the fish. Add a little white wine (1/8 cup or so), and seal the foil edges to create a pouch.
- Place the foil pouches directly on the hot grill, and cook for 4-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon. The heat will poach the fish in their pouches. Ideally, the salmon should be barely cooked through.
- Remove from grill and carefully unwrap each pouch. Place the poached salmon on a plate and top with the chimichurri sauce and a slice of fresh lemon, if desired.