Dried mushrooms give this rich red-wine sauce an almost meaty flavor. Look for them in the produce department of well-stocked supermarkets or specialty grocers. If you’re not a fan of salmon, try the recipe with halibut instead. Serve with barley tossed with parsley and steamed broccolini. To double: Prepare a double batch of sauce in the large skillet, increasing reduction time as needed. Cook 2 1/2 pounds of salmon in two batches, adding oil as necessary.
Time: 45 minutes
1-1/2 ounce package dried morel or porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 cup seafood stock, or bottled clam juice (see Tip)
1 teaspoon butter
1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1-1/4 pounds wild-caught salmon fillet, skinned (see Tip) and cut into 4 portions
1 . Combine mushrooms and boiling water in a small bowl. Soak until the mushrooms are softened, 12 to 15 minutes. Strain the soaking liquid through a paper towel-lined sieve into a bowl. Rinse the mushrooms; finely chop. Stir together 1 tablespoon of the soaking liquid and cornstarch in a small bowl.
2 . Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in wine and cook, stirring, until reduced to about 1/2 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining soaking liquid and seafood stock (or clam juice) to the pan. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, 10 to 14 minutes.
3 . Stir the cornstarch mixture and stir it into the simmering sauce. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in butter, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
4 . Meanwhile, season salmon with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the salmon and cook until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Serve with the mushroom sauce.
TIP: Bottled clam juice can be high in sodium. We like Bar Harbor brand, which has 120 mg sodium per 2-ounce serving. Look for it near canned fish or in the seafood department.
Tip: For more information about wild-caught salmon, visit seafoodwatch.org. To skin a salmon fillet, place it skin-side down and, starting at the tail end, slip a long, sharp knife between flesh and skin, holding the skin down with your other hand. Gently push the blade along at a 30° angle, without cutting through fillet or skin.
If preparing ahead of time: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 1 day. Reheat the sauce just before serving.