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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Grilled Salmon and Olive Couscous with Storybook Mountains Zinfandel

This is one of my favorite ways to enjoy salmon. The prep is easy and like all my favorite recipes can be done the night before. I basically threw together the couscous with things I had on hand. It was quite tasty and can definitely be altered to include different olives or other things you have on hand. I may add a little fresh parsley or fresh basil next time I make it. The couscous can be served warm or made ahead and served cold. Grilled or roasted asparagus also goes nicely with this meal.

WINE: 2007 Storybook Mountains Eastern Exposure Zinfandel, Napa

This supple Zinfandel also has a touch of Viognier probably lending to a slightly higher acidity. The nose is ripe with strawberry and allspice. The jammy blackberry body also has a hint of mineral and spice. When we purchased this bottle from the winemaker, he suggested pairing it with salmon. I usually pair salmon with Pinot Noir, but knew that the sun-dried tomatoes needed something richer. This was an awesome pairing, and I think Zin will be my go-to wine with this dish in the future.

RECIPE: Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Grilled Salmon
Servings: 2

• 2 7 oz. Salmon fillets
• ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
• 3 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
• 6 cloves of garlic, minced
• ¼ cup olive oil
• ½ tsp salt

1. Combine basil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and olive oil in a bowl.
2. Place salmon in Ziploc bag or a dish. Cover with marinade. Refrigerate overnight.
3. Oil grill so fish does not stick then heat grill to medium.
4. It took my fillets about 12 minutes to cook. I covered the grill and did not flip as I had put the marinade on the non-skin side. I did remove the fish when it was just shy of done. This is when the fish is beginning to flake. It finished cooking on its own and did not dry out at all. It stayed moist and delicious.

RECIPE: Olive Couscous
Servings: 3-4

• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1 cup couscous
• 2 tbsp pine nuts
• 1/2 cup red onion, diced
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• ~24 green olives, chopped
• 2 tbsp feta cheese, crumbled
• 3/4 tsp salt
• ¼ tsp pepper
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 ½ tbsp Lemon juice

1. Prepare couscous as package directs replacing water with chicken broth. When ready fluff with fork. You can serve this dish warm or cold.
2. In a dry skillet, toast pine nuts over medium heat until they become fragrant and start to turn brown. Do not let them burn.
3. Add pine nuts, red onion, garlic, olives and feta to couscous.
4. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
5. Drizzle over couscous etc. Mix together. Enjoy.

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