From the Farm to You!
If you haven’t checked out the Prize Page for our weekly giveaway, you really should. There are some fantastic prizes to be won, just waiting for lucky winners to claim. I recently had the opportunity to sample a few of the products from our offerings and was quite impressed with my choices. One of them was from FromTheFarm.com (an online farmers market that will ship farm–fresh produce and other agricultural products directly from their farms to your home). I was amazed at the wide variety of items they offer. It really is just like what you’d expect to see at a farmers market, only better (Hello, I said they deliver!). In fact, some of their products are unique—you can’t find them anywhere else. And since we’re wine and food enthusiasts, I really appreciated the selection of wine–friendly foods and condiments they have available. It reminds me of the experience we had in Italy last summer when we stayed at Tenuta di Spannocchia (a working farm in Tuscany) and witnessed first–hand all of the fabulous things that can be raised, grown and produced in one place.
I surprised myself by choosing a Balsamic Honey Vinegar (from Honey Ridge Farms) to try. I’m not a big fan of either balsamic vinegar or honey, but the description mentioned that it was “especially delicious drizzled over sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese slices.” Once again, I found my mind wandering back to our Italy trip, where we found ourselves constantly being offered slices of parmesan cheese drizzled with fresh honey to munch on while tasting wine. That became the turning point for my lifelong indifference to honey as I now actually find myself craving it with certain things (like dry cheeses).
This gourmet vinegar is unusual in that it is made from 100% natural honey, which means it is sulfite–free. So, the flavor is similar to (but not quite as tart as) regular balsamic vinegar. The honey lends a subtle sweetness that will add a rich flavor to salad dressings, marinades and reductions. I tried it in a couple of recipes, one of which was provided by FromTheFarm.com. Our family enjoyed the recipe as provided (I made a few adaptations because I didn’t have a whole salmon), but really loved the balsamic glaze recipe all by itself. I found myself taking my finger and scraping out the remainder from the cooking pan, wishing I had some vanilla ice cream to drizzle it over! It was tastier than any fruit–type topping I’ve ever had, and dare I say, it would make a nice accompaniment to a cheese platter served as a dessert course.
I also tried the vinegar as they mentioned, drizzled straight from the bottle over tomato slices and fresh mozzarella. I also added some fresh basil and a quick pour of good Italian olive oil over the top. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of it, but trust me when I say that it was molto deliziosi! I’m looking forward to trying it on burrata cheese (another addiction I developed in Tuscany). I’m sure it, too, will make my taste buds sing and conjure fond memories of our gastronomic adventures in Italy.
WI wine recommendation: I used Palumbo Family Vineyards 2006 Syrah for this recipe and to enjoy with the final dish. A Syrah or Shiraz has a sweet aspect that works very well in the reduction sauce and is a delicious pairing with the salmon.
Roast Salmon with Balsamic Honey Wine Reduction
(adapted from FromTheFarm.com)
2 lbs. salmon fillet (preferably wild salmon)
1–2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon lemon rind, grated
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup Honey Ridge Farms Balsamic Honey Vinegar
1/2 cup red wine (see WI wine recommendation)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350° F. Cut salmon fillet(s) into individual serving sizes. Do not grease the pan with butter or olive oil—this way, the skin of the salmon will stick to the pan and you won’t have to remove it yourself. Place the salmon pieces in a baking dish, skin side down.
Mix together the red onion, lemon rind, garlic and thyme.
Brush the olive oil over the salmon. Rub the herb mixture over the salmon.
Roast up to 20 minutes or until white juices appear on top.
Meanwhile, combine balsamic vinegar, wine and sugar in a skillet. Bring to a boil and reduce until syrupy. Turn heat to low, whisk in butter and keep warm.
Remove salmon from baking dish to plate. Note: I served the salmon on top of Mashed Potatoes with Lemon and Chives (from Epicurious). I also quickly sautéed some snow peas in a little olive oil and served that alongside the salmon and potatoes.
Spoon the warm glaze over the top of the salmon and serve immediately.
May 3, 2009 at 10:18 am
Diana Hayes said:
I love Salmon and look for decent ways to dress it. This sounds great, love your review. Thanks