A meaty fish like salmon or tuna pairs nicely with a sparkling rosé. The wine’s deeper fruit notes and acidity complement the fattiness of the fish. This meal-in-a-salad is perfect for lunch or a light supper. The recipe is featured in Janet Fletcher’s gorgeous new cookbook, Wine Country Table: With Recipes that Celebrate California’s Sustainable Harvest (Rizzoli/2019). A resident of Napa Valley and author of 30 cookbooks, Fletcher is also a cheese expert and creator of the weekly newsletter Planet Cheese.
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon Vietnamese fish sauce
1 large shallot, finely minced
3 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed and finely chopped
½ cup (125 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
Kosher or sea salt
1 pound fingerling potatoes
4 large eggs
1 pound (500 ml) medium asparagus, tough ends removed
Extra virgin olive oil for oiling the pan
4 skin-on wild salmon filets, about 6 ounces (185 grams) each
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 soft butter lettuce heart, separated into leaves
12 radishes, trimmed and halved
12 ripe olives
To make the vinaigrette: In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, fish sauce, shallot, parsley, tarragon, and capers. Whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with salt, then adjust the balance with more oil or vinegar if needed. Set aside for 30 minutes to allow the flavor to mellow.
Put the potatoes in a saucepan and add salted water to cover by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Bring to a simmer over high heat, cover partially, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, let stand just until cool enough to handle, then peel. Let cool completely and slice crosswise or halve lengthwise.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. (200 degrees C). Put enough water in a saucepan to cover the 4 eggs generously but do not add the eggs yet. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to a simmer so you can add the eggs without jostling them. While the water is heating, prepare a large bowl of ice water. With a large spoon, lower the eggs into the simmering water, working carefully so they do not crack. Adjust the heat so the eggs cook at a gentle simmer. Cook the eggs for 7 minutes exactly (The yolk will be runny). Transfer the eggs to the ice water with a slotted spoon. When cool, lift them out of the water and peel.
Bring a large frying pan half full of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and boil until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain and chill quickly under cold running water. Pat dry.
Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place skin side down on the baking sheet and back until the flesh just flakes when probed with a fork, about 12 minutes.
While the salmon bakes, arrange a few lettuce leaves on each of the floor plates. Leaving room in he center for the salmon arrange an equal amount of the potato slices, asparagus, radishes and olives and 2 egg halves on each plate. With an offset spatula, lift the salmon fillets off of their skin and transfer to the plates, leaving the skin behind Whisk the dressing and spin it over the salads; you may not need it all. Serve immediately.
Fletcher’s sparkling rosé recommendation is Roederer Estate Brut Rosé, Anderson Valley (we also love Castello delle Regine Spumante Brut Rose). She also suggests pairing with these three cheeses:
Secret de Compostelle, nutty aged sheep’s milk cheese from France’s Basque region
Alex, an aged cow’s-milk wheel from Germany, similar to an extra-aged Comté
Von Trapp Farmstead Mt Alice, a buttery, mushroomy bloomy-rind cheese from Vermont
Melanie Young co-hosts the national weekly radio show, The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays 2 pm EST on W4CY Radio and podcast permanently to iHeart.com and the free iHeart App.