Part of what I love about being a food blogger is coming up with new things: I get to be creative in a facet of my life unlike any other. By day, I’m an Editor for a large publishing company. I love a lot of things about my job (the people I work with, the flexibility to work from home full-time, etc.) but one thing about being an Editor is that I have to adhere to specific styles, English grammar, mathematical grammar (oh yes, math HAS grammar! What joy!) and the publishing company’s own style manual. There’s really no wiggle room. Right is right in grammar. And though the right brain part of me likes the clean cut answers, my left brain cries in the corner all day long just waiting to have its turn.
So when we put salmon on the weekly menu this week, I let my brain start wondering. The thing about salmon is that it is one of the “fishier” fishes so pairing it with sweet/strong flavors offsets that. And hell, pear season is about to end and I may as well find a use for one of the few fruits I can still get somewhat fresh out here in the tundra Iowa. This is sweet but not overpoweringly so and all of the sweetness comes from fruit and maple syrup (and only small amounts at that and it’s mostly reduced). I topped it with raw chopped pecans which gave it a nutty finish and a nice crunch.
Maple Balsamic Pear Salmon with PecansGluten-Free Dairy-Free Soy-Free Grain-Free Egg-Free Refined-Sugar-Free
What you need:
- 2-3 wild-caught salmon fillets, 4-6 oz each
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (or EVOO)
- 1 ripe pear, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 c. orange juice
- 1/2 c. water
- 2 tbsp Grade B maple syrup
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (add more if you like)
What you do:
- In a saucepan, add all ingredients except the salmon.
- Bring to a boil and then put to med-low. We’re not reducing here so much as we’re just trying to soften up the pear. You can skip this part if your pear was very soft (mine wasn’t very ripe).
- In a large frying pan, heat up the oil on med-high and add salmon fillets.
- Cook 3-5 minutes on each side. They don’t have to be cooked all the way through at this point, just browned.
- Add in the pear mixture and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer 5 minutes and then turn the burner to high to reduce until there’s just a thick sauce left (see pics below). Flip the salmon about halfway through to get a nice color on both sides.
- Serve the salmon and spoon some of the pear reduction on top.
- Sprinkle with chopped pecans.