With a bottle of chilled chardonnay, crusty warm bread and mixed greens with a lemony dressing – this makes an easy, cool summer luncheon or dinner for a small party.
3 cups dry, flavorful white wine (Chardonnay is perfect)
3 cups water
1 lemon, sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
10 juniper berries, crushed
3 bay leaves
1 stem fresh basil leaves
2 fresh fennel fronds
2 1/2 to 3 pound salmon fillet, with skin on
2 lemons, sliced for garnish
1 bunch dill, for garnish
Two large foil baking pans large enough to hold fillet
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a large saucepan, placed wine, water, lemon, peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves, basil and fennel. Place saucepan over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the liquid for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the fennel and basil and let cool.
Place the salmon into foil pan and pour the poaching liquid over the salmon. (Place the foil baking pan on a baking sheet for easier handling.) Cover the pan with foil and seal it tightly.
Place the pan into the preheated oven. After 10 minutes, remove foil and baste the salmon. Reseal and finish poaching for another 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the foil. With pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the salmon with poaching liquid to remove any white bits.
When the pan is cool enough to handle, place it over your sink. Puncture a few holes in the bottom of the pan with a sharp knife to the poaching liquid drain from the pan. Place the pan directly into the second foil pan to prevent dripping. Remove bay leaves. Brush the salmon with olive oil, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, cut one end off the foil pan and using a spatula, slide the salmon onto a platter. Garnish with lemon slices fanned out along the top and sprigs of fresh dill. Serve with a spoonful of Cucumber Sauce ladled over the salmon.