Salmon with Red Wine Sauce

Recipe and photo by Tami Ganeles Weiser Yield:  2 servings
Prep Time:  10 minutes Cook Time:  15 minutes

Salmon with Red Wine Sauce

This salmon dish is ideal for a romantic dinner, but it is as easy as it is elegant. If there are more than two at your table, the recipe doubles or triples easily. Serve it with Wild Rice with Toasted Hazelnuts and Honey-Roasted Baby Carrots and Fennel for a very special meal.



2 salmon fillets (4 ounces each), skin on

½  teaspoon kosher salt, divided

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil


1 small shallot, peeled and minced

½ cup Pinot Noir (See Kitchen Tips)

¼ cup low-sodium chicken broth, Roasted Vegetable Stock or low-sodium vegetable broth

1 small sprig rosemary (about 3 inches)

2 tablespoons (¼ stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into chunks



  1. Sprinkle both sides of the salmon fillets with half the salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan or cast-iron skillet set over high heat until the pan is very hot and the oil shimmers.
  2. Carefully place the fillets into the pan in a single layer, skin side down, and cook for 2 minutes without moving them.Then gently turn the salmon over, reduce the heat, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, to desired doneness. (You will be able to judge whether the salmon is done by the color of the side of the fillet.) Transfer the salmon fillets to a platter and keep warm.
  3. To make the sauce, return the pan to the heat, add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the wine and cook for 1 to 2 minutes longer, or until the wine reduces in volume by half. Add the broth and rosemary, the remaining salt and pepper, and stir well. Cook for 2  minutes. Remove the pan from heat and swirl in the cold butter, stirring vigorously until it just dissolves. Remove from heat.
  4. To plate: The fish must be served immediately. Spoon half the Wild Rice with Toasted Hazelnuts and Honey-Roasted Carrots and Fennel onto each plate, and place a fillet on each of 2 plates and gently drizzle with the sauce.

Kitchen Tips

  1. Swirling a little very cold butter into the sauce at the last minute helps it to thicken and gives it a rich mouthfeel and flavor. It’s a classic French touch and brings this dish to a new level. The small amount of added fat is well worth it the added pleasure it will bring to the dish.
  2. Pinot Noir is a lively, delicious red wine. The grapes thrive in cooler climates. The trick to cooking with any wine is to make sure it a wine you would also LOVE to drink. Price is not always an indicator of good wine, so let your tastebuds rule. Pinot Noir is really best in this recipe as it was designed to pair with the hazelnuts and wild rice. All of those items grow together in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and fit together just as the old adage says: if it grows together, it goes together.
  3. For a more detailed explanation of the pinot noir wine itself, click here.
  4. If you stick to kosher wines, exclusively,  and you want an online source, try a kosher pinots noir from here or  here.
  5. Here is a recommended list of kosher wines by brand and vintage.
  6. Find the recipe for Wild Rice with Toasted Hazelnuts here; find the recipe for Honey-Roasted Baby Carrots and Fennel here.

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