Salmon with Citrus and Tarragon Rub
My grandmother used the phrase, “this weather, though…” for just about any meteorological situation, not just weather oddities like the incredibly mild weather we’re having this December in the NYC area. If it was cold in May, warm in January, rainy in April, freezing cold and snowy in February or even hot one day and cold the next, the phrase applied. You have to admit, there’s a kind of genius in it—you can say it every day without ever being wrong.
Taking advantage of the 60-something temps a couple of nights ago, I went up to the rooftop without a jacket to grill some salmon. I made this quick rub with things I had on hand. You can use dried tarragon—one of the dried spices I always keep on hand—if you don’t have fresh. If the weather ever normalizes this works well under the broiler too. This salmon is perfect (especially in this weather) with Yellow Split Peas and String Beans.
Serves 2 (can be easily doubled)
1 large orange
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Two 6-ounce salmon fillets (the thicker the better)
Grate the zest from the orange and lemon into a small bowl. (Save the zested orange and lemon for the finished dish.) Stir the tarragon, olive oil, salt and pepper into the zest. Rub the salmon fillets on all but the skin side with the rub, put them on a small plate and cover well with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
To cook the rubbed salmon:
Broil: Set the oven rack about 8 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Lightly oil a broiler pan or heavy-duty baking sheet. Broil the salmon skin side down until done to your likeness.
Grill: If you’re grilling the fish, add a little extra oil to the rub and be sure you’re grill is clean and well-oiled before you start. Also, when the salmon is done, gently slide a flat metal spatula under the salmon to completely free it from the grill to save as much of the rub as you can. Heat a gas grill to medium-high or light a charcoal fire and let the coals burn down till uniformly gray. Oil the grill well, start the salmon skin side down and cook until the skin is charred. Gently lift the salmon, re-oil the grill and flip the salmon skin side up. Cook to medium-rare, about 6 minutes for a 1-inch thick fillet, longer for a more well-done fillet.