Broiled Fennel Salmon For Weddings…or Weeknights is an elegant, quick-cooking, delish dish that’s perfect for…well…weddings OR weeknights. This recipe is dedicated to the memory of the wonderful man who inspired it.
Broiled Fennel Salmon: For Weddings…or Weeknights
Eight years ago, my dear friends, Patrick and Beth, got hitched. The night before, a bunch of us gathered for an unforgettable rehearsal dinner. Patrick’s father, Bill, prepared an epic meal with his Pecan Encrusted Salmon as the main entrée.
This is Bill, kneeling at the oven, doing his labor of love.
I must admit, until I had Bill’s version, I was actually never too crazy about salmon. Since then, I can never get enough!
The ‘less is more’ aproach:
What I really liked about his recipe was that he used a thin layer of mayonnaise, fresh tarragon, and crushed pecans on top of the salmon. I went so crazy over this dish…along with everyone else. Bill eagerly told me how to make it…and, of course, I wrote it down. Food and music have always been our favorite conversation topics.
Here’s a snap of me and Bill, at another event (Patrick’s 40th), teaming up for a salad-dressing emulsion. It takes two, ya know…one to hold the jar and whisk, the other to, very slowly, drizzle in the oil.
Since the night of Patrick and Beth’s epic rehearsal dinner, I’ve made Bill’s salmon…many times. I love to make it mid-week and throw a super-delicious curveball at my dinner routine. It’s always perfect, and I always think of Bill and that joyous wedding. Nothing compares to a beautiful, flavor-adorned memory.
Very sadly, the world lost Bill a few months ago. He was a hard-working, family man with infinite interests and talents. He deeply cared about other’s well-being…and worked hard, personally and professionally, to protect their interests. It goes without saying, he is deeply missed.
What friends, and family, are for…
I bet you know the feeling of helplessness when a good friend endures a major loss and your support is limited due to timing and location. No two ways about it…it hurts. Since I couldn’t make a short-notice visit, I asked my dad to attend Bill’s memorial service in my place and help pay my respects. I’m so very thankful my dad did not hesitate to stand in for me.
On the day of the service, what was I to do from 2000 miles away, but prepare and enjoy an epic salmon dish and celebrate Bill’s life in my kitchen. If he and I could geek out about the entrée I made in his honor, here’s what I would tell him.
It was literally the best salmon I’ve ever laid my hands on…Wild Copper River Salmon, known for exceptional quality and sustainable fishing practices.
Side note, I just discovered its available online through the Copper River Watershed Project, but exclusively between May-July. I’m not affiliated with the company, I just happen to heart their product. And now it’s on my calendar for next year to order.
Bill’s recipe, and what I did to it…
I varied the recipe by using fresh fennel in place of tarragon. I had wanted to experiment with this since both ingredients are licorice-y. I had fresh fennel on hand, so I took the plunge. Whooooah, love!
The prep for this entrée is as easy as sprinkling salt and pepper, brushing mayo, and topping with fennel slices and Italian parsley.
And after a short trip under the broiler, here’s the finished product.
I would describe this salmon entrée as juicy and tender with a light, zesty kick under perfectly browned, sometimes crispy, bites of fennel. Omg yum!
Without Bill’s original recipe, I may never have thought to combine mayo with licorice-flavored produce, on fish. As I mentioned earlier, it’s been my favorite way to eat salmon for the past eight years.
I’m really going to miss the opportunities to geek out with Bill about food…and music. But I’ll continue his legacy, and our shared passion for food, in my own kitchen and I’ll think of him as I always have. I only wish I could have eaten more meals made by him. He was one helluva cook!
Life is short.
So, love each other. Slow down. Love yourself. Eat well. Exercise. Be minimal. Tell those who have impacted your life what they have done for you.
Cheers to you, Bill…and to every piece of happiness you’ve given to others. You are deeply missed.
And here’s the bride and groom, Beth and Patrick.