Pomegranate-Glazed Salmon with Oranges, Olives, and Herbs
As the workday fades and I begin to build dinner in my mind, I’ve come to realize that my most creative and delicious weeknight dishes are born from what’s on hand waiting to be used. My dinner plan begins with one ingredient and expands from there as I consider what’s lingering in my cupboards and crisper.As a resident of the Pacific Northwest, it’s my self-imposed duty to eat the local wild salmon on a regular basis. Over many years of cooking the jewel-toned fish, my go-to method has become a low-heat roasting technique, which yields a delicate, buttery texture throughout. You’ll want to be sure to adjust the cooking time according to the thickness of your fillet. While a sizable Chinook, or king, salmon can be quite thick, sockeye salmon are relatively smaller fish with thinner fillets. I prefer them for their stunning carmine color and moderate fat content.This rich fish deserves a bright foil, and the blood oranges and mandarins that fill my fruit bowl right now are the perfect pick. Shingled slices underneath the salmon impart flavor during roasting; carefully cut supremes come together with the remains of a bunch of parsley to create a tart and bright salad for topping the finished dish. I like to lean on one or two robust pantry staples to build flavor; in this case, a bottle of pomegranate molasses and a nearly-forgotten tub of Castelvetrano olives. Tart and just barely sweet, the pomegranate molasses cuts through the richness of the fish while creating a gorgeous, shimmering glaze; the olives balance the bright flavors of the salad with their soft salinity and luxe butteriness.One good pairing for wild salmon is Oregon Pinot Noir, but here, a dry or slightly off-dry Oregon Riesling is perfect. Replete with zingy acidity, it perfectly counterbalances the richness of the fatty, flavorsome fish and stands up to the bright salad and tart, fruity glaze.