Salmon w/ Black Quinoa & Cherries


  • 1½-pound salmon fillet, skin on

For the Marinade

  • 2 tbsp unsalted sweet butter
  • 3 shallots (4 tbsp), minced (can substitute sweet white onion)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped chervil
  • ground white pepper to taste

For the Black Quinoa & Cherries

  • 1 cup black quinoa
  • 2 tbsp unsalted sweet butter
  • olive oil to coat pan
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 celery stalk, peeled & chopped
  • 1½ cups pitted & chopped dried cherries (can use fresh cherries)
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 4 oz heavy cream

Garnish options

  • fresh cherries
  • fresh cilantro


Prepare Marinade

  1. Melt 2 tbsp unsalted sweet butter slowly over flow heat in an 8" saute pan
  2. Add minced shallots or onions, salt to taste
  3. Stir in fresh flat-leaf parsley, chervil, chives, chervil and tarragon, and white pepper to taste and set aside

Prepare & Bake Salmon

  1. Preheat the oven to 375º
  2. Place the salmon, skin side down, in a baking dish. Pour the marinade over the salmon.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 12-15 minutes (Tip: Cook fish about 10 minutes per 1" thickness of fish)
  3. Remove the salmon from the oven and lift it onto a cutting board. Cut it into equal pieces. Place on serving plates and spoon the baking juices over the pieces. Garnish with fresh cherries and a sprig of tarragon, if desired, and serve with black quinoa & cherries (recipe follows)

Make Black Quinoa & Cherries

(Quinoa Takes about 45 minutes to cook. Can be prepared a day ahead.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º
  2. Place the quinoa in a dry, medium-size saucepan over medium heat and toast for 4-5 minutes and set aside
  3. In a separate medium-sized oven-proof pot, over medium heat, melt 2 tbsp unsalted sweet butter and add olive oil to coat the pan
  4. Add the onion, stir to mix with butter and oil and cook for 3-4 minutes
  5. Add rosemary, celery and cherries, stir well, and cook for 1 minute
  6. Add minced garlic and let cook for about 30 seconds, stirring continuously, taking care not to burn the garlic
  7. Pour the toasted quinoa into the pot. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice, 3 cups vegetable stock or broth and bring to a simmer
  8. Add about 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp ground black pepper, 4 oz heavy cream
  9. Cover and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the quinoa has cracked and expanded, or “bloomed”

Assemble the Dish

  1. Plate the quinoa
  2. With a spatula, lift the salmon from the baking dish and place over the quinoa
  3. Spoon marinade from the baking dish over the salmon and garnish with fresh cilantro

Adapted from Wine Mondays, by Frank McClelland and Christie Matheson. (c) 2008, used by permission from The Harvard Common Press