We were discussing what salmon recipes we wanted to try for the summer and one of our colleagues mentioned a dish she recently had at a restaurant that featured salmon with a sauce based on a martini. We were intrigued and after some investigating, we thought we might be able to replicate the dish in our kitchen.
Salmon With Martini Sauce is a simple recipe where the key is cooking the salmon perfectly and topping it with the martini sauce. The base of the sauce is, of course, vermouth and gin, but we’ve added some shallots, juniper berries and dried green peppercorns to flavor the alcohol, as well as some heavy cream and butter. The pimiento-stuffed olives and lemon juice brighten the sauce and complete the dish.
Prepping the Ingredients
Using the 5" Petite Santoku, mince the shallots.
To slice the green olives, we recommend using the 4″ Paring Knife.
Use the 7″ Santoku to chop the whole juniper berries and then lay the blade flat on top of the green peppercorns to crush them. Whole juniper berries can typically be found in the spice section of most supermarkets.
Making the Salmon
In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the vermouth, gin, shallots, juniper berries and green peppercorns then bring to a boil. Note that if your heat is too high, you will get flames from burning off the alcohol. Reduce the heat if this happens. Once the mixture has come to a boil, lower the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a half cup. Add the heavy cream and once again, simmer until the liquid is reduced. Add the butter, one teaspoon at a time, whisking until melted.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. Return the remaining liquid to the saucepan. Over low heat, stir in the sliced olives and lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed. Turn off the heat and cover to keep the sauce warm.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and place the seasoned salmon in the skillet. Sauté approximately four minutes on each side, until cooked through. Place the salmon on a plate, top with the sauce, garnish with fresh chives and serve.
Simple to prepare, this Salmon With Martini Sauce really allows the salmon to shine. The sauce gives added flavor to the fish without overpowering it and the entire dish would pair nicely with some rice or quinoa. Give it a try and salmon may become a regular rotation in your meal planning.
Salmon With Martini Sauce
- 1 cup dry vermouth
- 1/4 cup dry gin
- 1/8 cup shallots, minced
- 2 teaspoons whole juniper berries*, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1/4 cup pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced into rings
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Salt, for seasoning
- Ground black pepper, for seasoning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 6-ounce skinless boneless salmon fillets, skin removed
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- In a heavy small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the vermouth, gin, shallots, juniper berries and peppercorns then bring to a boil. Note: If the heat is too high, you will have flames as the alcohol is burned off. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup.
- Add cream and simmer on medium until the liquid is reduced again to 1/2 cup. Add butter 1 teaspoon at a time, whisking until melted before adding more.
- Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer and return the liquid to the saucepan. Over low heat, stir in the olives and lemon juice. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Turn off heat, cover saucepan to keep warm.
- Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh parsley. Add salmon to skillet and sauté until just cooked through, approximately 4 minutes per side.
- Place salmon on plates and spoon the sauce over the salmon. Garnish with chives and serve immediately.
*Juniper berries are available in the spice section of most supermarkets.