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Olive-Oil Poached Salmon with Rhubarb Crème Fraîche + Donkey & Goat's 2013 Perli Syrah #LocavoreFeast #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with a Locavore Feast I hosted
Wine samples and some ingredients were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

When people tell me, "Oh, I don't eat __________" I consider that a long as there are no actual allergies involved. For instance, when one of my best friends told me that he didn't eat "purple dirt circles" - what you and I would call beets! - I hosted a dinner party and everything included beets. Yes, even the dessert. He's a beet-convert now, by the way. So, my culinary ploys do work.

When I found out that a few people at a dinner I was hosting didn't eat fish, I emailed back and forth with my contact at Real Good Fish* to come up with some non-fishy options. And I did have a back-up plan with roasted chicken in case those diners were more stubborn in their stance to not eat fish than I was to have them eat it.

Poaching fish—gently cooking in a liquid over low heat—is a classic French technique. Usually, the poaching liquid is water, wine, or a broth; but I love poaching in olive oil. The fish comes out of its olive oil bath with an incredibly silky texture that’s difficult to achieve with any other cooking method.

Years ago I read about pairing salmon with rhubarb and it's stuck in my mind ever since. Two of my favorite foods ever. So, I prepared an Oil-Poached Wild White Alaskan King Salmon with Rhubarb Crème Fraîche with the fish from Real Good Fish. I did the rhubarb ahead of time, but the salmon is cooked just before serving.


Rhubarb Crème Fraîche

  • 3 to 4 stalks organic rhubarb, rinsed and trimmed into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 C water
  • 8 ounces crème fraîche
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • squeeze of lemon juice, if needed

Olive Oil-Poached Salmon

  • salmon fillets (serving sizes vary, but because I had a lot of other food on the table, so I banked on 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound per person)
  • olive oil as needed
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 to 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper


Rhubarb Crème Fraîche
Create a simple syrup by dissolving the sugar in water and letting it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Gently lower the rhubarb into the syrup and poach for 3 to 5 minutes. The rhubarb should be softened but still retaining its shape. Remove from heat and let cool. Store the poached rhubarb and syrup in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.

Olive Oil-Poached Salmon
Select a large enough pot that the salmon fillets can sit flat without touching each other. I did this in three different pans for the amount of fish I was poaching.

Pour olive oil into the pot so that it’s about ½” deep. Add garlic and rosemay. Bring the olive oil to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Lower the salmon fillets – skin-side down – into the warm oil. Poach for 10 to 12 minutes. Flip the fillets and poach for another 5 to 6 minutes. If using immediately, serve warm. 

For Serving
Let the crème fraîche come to room temperature, then place it in the bowl of a food processor or a  medium mixing bowl. Add the 1/2 C rhubarb to the crème fraîche and process until smooth, reserving the rest for garnish. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as needed.

Spoon the Rhubarb Crème Fraîche onto your serving platter and place the poached salmon on top. Garnish with more poached rhubarb and sprinkle with freshly ground salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

The Pairing

While I typically pair salmon with white wine, I wanted to go with a more full wine and Donkey & Goat's 2013 Perli Syrah was exactly what I wanted. This pairing had the culinary trinity of fat, acid, and salt while the tartness of the crème fraîche balanced the sweetness of the poached rhubarb.

The Perli Syrah has a brilliant ruby color with an almost smoky aroma. As most of the Donkey & Goat wines I've tried - which is another reason they are one of my favorite vintners - there are nuanced layers of flavors from sweet black fruits to cracked pepper and just a hint of anise. All of the flavors were in harmony with the wine.

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*Disclosure: I received complimentary product for the purpose of recipe development. This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.*


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