Grilled Salmon with Fennel and Creole Mustard Spaetzle
- ACTIVE: 1 HR 15 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 40 MIN
- SERVINGS: 4
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, cut into 8 wedges each
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons Pernod or other anise-flavored liqueur
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 whole star anise, crushed
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Two 12-ounce center-cut skinless salmon fillets, butterflied (see Note)
- Creole Mustard Spaetzle
- Preheat the oven to 425°. In a medium roasting pan, toss the fennel with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the fennel for 30 minutes, turning halfway through, or until tender and browned.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the Pernod to a boil. Add the cream and star anise and simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 8 minutes. Strain the cream and season with salt and pepper.
- Light a grill. In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon and orange zests, bread crumbs and parsley and let cool.
- Spread open the salmon fillets, season them with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the parsley mixture. Starting at the thinner end, roll each fillet into a log. Tie each log at each end with kitchen string, then cut each log into 2 equal pieces; you should have 4 rolls secured with kitchen string.
- Season the salmon rolls with salt and pepper and grill over a medium-hot fire for 6 minutes, turning once. Move the salmon rolls to indirect heat and continue grilling until just barely cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and carefully remove the strings. Rewarm the fennel and the Pernod cream sauce.
- Spoon the Creole Mustard Spaetzle onto 4 large plates. Set the salmon on the spaetzle, arrange the fennel wedges around it and spoon the sauce around the fish. Serve right away.
An Italian white with a smoky, floral note, such as an Arneis, will echo the fennel in this dish.