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Sustainable Seafood Recipe Contest Winner: Sarah Meuser

Autumn Harvest Spiced Salmon

By Sarah Meuser

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients for Apple Cider-Infused Roasted

Grape and Parsnip Puree
2 cups red seedless grapes
2 cups peeled and sliced parsnips, each sliced
1/4-inch thick (about 4 medium parsnips)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
3 tablespoon apple cider

Ingredients for Caramelized Apples
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons apple cider
2 Honeycrisp apples (or your favorite in-season apple variety), sliced very thin; between
1/8-inch and 1/16-inch thick
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Ingredients for Spiced Salmon
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Two (6-ounce) boneless, skinless Coho Salmon fillets, each about 1 ¼-inch thick
Fresh rosemary (as garnish), optional

Instructions for Apple Cider-Infused Roasted Grape and Parsnip Puree
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat grapes in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Arrange in a single layer on a medium-sized, nonstick rimmed sheet pan (about 15” x 10” in size). Coat parsnips in remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Arrange in a single layer on a similar-sized, nonstick rimmed sheet pan. Place sheet pans side-by-side on center oven rack; roast for 15-18 minutes, or until grapes are slightly caramelized and starting to burst and parsnips are soft and just starting to brown. Add half of the roasted grapes (cover and reserve the other half for topping salmon) and all roasted parsnips to food processor with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and apple cider. Pulse ‘chop’ until smooth.

Instructions for Caramelized Apples
Meanwhile, melt butter in medium-sized nonstick skillet over medium heat. Stir in apple cider, apple slices, golden raisins, and dark brown sugar; stir occasionally as apples become soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Instructions for Spiced Salmon
Combine dark brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom in small shallow bowl wide enough to fit salmon portions. Coat large nonstick skillet with olive oil; heat skillet over medium heat. Place each salmon portion in brown sugar mixture, turning to completely coat each portion. Place coated salmon portions in hot skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes, then carefully turn over. Cook additional 2 minutes on other side. Salmon portions should be just cooked through and lightly caramelized.

To serve, spoon parsnip puree onto the center of 2 dinner plates. Place caramelized salmon portion over parsnip puree. Spoon apple and raisin mixture over salmon. Place reserved roasted grapes on and around salmon. Garnish with fresh rosemary, if desired. Serve immediately.

Where was the seafood purchased or caught? The Coho salmon was purchased at Big Y World Class Market, which is a family-owned chain of grocery stores with several locations in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Their impressive seafood department is highly focused on sustainability, and is supported by both the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), which has developed standards for sustainable fishing and seafood traceability, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, an independent, non-advocacy research entity focused on catalyzing solutions to the complex challenges of ocean stewardship and economic growth in the Gulf of Maine bioregion.

Why did you select this particular seafood for your recipe? My family loves the taste, texture, and health benefits of salmon, and purchasing sustainably-sourced seafood has always been important to me. I like how the mild flavor of Coho salmon is complemented by a variety of other ingredients. October is my favorite month and, since salmon is also my favorite seafood, I decided to create a fall-inspired salmon recipe for this contest. The sweet juiciness of the roasted red grapes, the buttery, apple cider, and the  brown sugar caramelized apples and golden raisins are perfectly paired with the aromatic, warmly spiced, brown sugar-caramelized Coho salmon. A simple puree of roasted red grapes, roasted parsnips, and fresh apple cider creates a healthy and delicious alternative to mashed potatoes and is quite simple to prepare.

How was your seafood raised or caught and what makes it sustainable? The MSC-certified wild, Pacific-caught Coho salmon I purchased for this recipe had the MSC blue fish label on it (something I always look for), which means the salmon was not farm-raised and is certified sustainable.

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