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Seared Salmon with Blackberry Gastrique

Serves: Serves 4


  • 2 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • ¼ cup minced shallots
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skin on
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


Gastrique: A thick sauce in classic French cuisine that consists of a reduction of vinegar, wine, sugar and sometimes fruit that has been caramelized over heat.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

To prepare the blackberry purée for the gastrique, use a food processor or blender and purée 1¾ cups of the blackberries. Reserve the remaining ¼ cup to use as a garnish. Press the purée through a strainer and into a bowl; set aside and discard the seeds.

To prepare gastrique: In a pan, mix sugar with ¼ cup water; cook, uncovered, over medium high heat until reduced to a thick caramel-colored syrup, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add vinegar. Return to low heat and stir until caramel is dissolved. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the small pan, melt butter over medium high heat; add shallot and cook, stirring often, until just soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine, and cook, uncovered, until most of the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add berry purée and cook, uncovered, until reduced by half, about 6 minutes. Add half the gastrique to pan. (Add more to taste, depending on sweetness of berries.) Add salt and pepper to taste; set aside.

Remove bones from salmon. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add salmon to the pan, skin side down. Cook until skin is crispy, about 4 minutes. Turn fillets and transfer pan to the preheated oven. Continue cooking until salmon is cooked through, another 3–4 minutes depending on thickness of fillets.

While salmon cooks, add whole blackberries to sauce and re-warm sauce over medium heat. Spoon 1 to 2 spoonfuls of sauce onto each plate and top with the salmon, skin side up. Scatter whole berries around fillet.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table Cooking Class Program.

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