Passover is upon us, and maybe you think it isn’t relevant because you’re not Jewish. Well guess what? Neither am I, but I don’t hesitate to invite myself over accept invitations to friends’ homes and celebrate their holidays if it means trying new foods. Passover is the Jewish commemoration of the Jewish people’s freedom from slavery in Egypt. Many celebrate with two Seder dinners, with the first dinner signifying the beginning of the holiday. A Seder involves telling the story of the Jewish people’s liberation from slavery, drinking wine, and eating symbolic Passover foods like bitter herbs, which symbolize the bitterness of slavery, and a vegetable dipped in salt water, with the salt water representing the tears of the slaves and the vegetable representing spring time.
But these symbolic foods are not going to satisfy any appetites, so after the ritual aspects are taken care of, family and friends enjoy a feast together. Chicken and brisket are the usual go-to entrees for Passover, but what about pescatarian guests (or “vegetarian” according to some, since many don’t consider fish to be meat)? Gifilte fish loaf probably doesn’t sound too appetizing (if you haven’t tried it… keep it that way!). But salmon is substantial enough to be a main dish, and I’m a big believer in adding at least one new recipe to any holiday get-together. The below recipe is a great option because the cream based sauce adds additional richness to the salmon, but sorrel adds a fresh sour brightness. Obviously this dish can be enjoyed any time of the year, but it makes an impressive Passover meal while still being deceivingly simple.
Salmon with Sorrel Sauce (yield: 4 servings)
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup dry vermouth
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup of fresh sorrel, additional leaves to garnish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper
12 to 16 ounce salmon fillet
- Add shallots, white wine, and vermouth to a saucepan, and reduce down over medium-high heat until liquid is almost evaporated. Add cream and bring to simmer, then reduce heat to keep at a low simmer. Stir frequently for about 10-15 minutes until it thickens to a sauce consistency
- Remove from heat and strain to remove shallots.
- Add sauce back to saucepan. Tear sorrel leaves into pieces and add to sauce. Stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Put back on the heat and stir.
- Cut salmon fillet into four equal portions. Season skin side of salmon generously with salt and pepper.
- Heat nonstick pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot (a drop of water should be able to bounce off), place salmon fillets in pan and cook for about 45 seconds on each side.
- Portion sauce onto 4 serving plates. Place salmon fillets onto serving plates. Garnish with additional sorrel leaves.