Smoked King Salmon, Corn Purée, Summer Squash, and Salsa Verde

Source: Paul Burzlaff, 31st Union

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on July 11, 2015.

Makes 6 to 8 servings


Smoked Salmon
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons toasted fennel seed
½ side King salmon (4 to 5 pounds), skin on, pin bones removed
2 bunches dill, chopped (reserve a few sprigs for garnish; see below)
Wood chips

Salsa Verde
1 bunch parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium shallot, finely diced
2 tablespoons chopped capers
2 anchovies, minced
Zest of 1 lemon (reserve lemon for recipes below)
½ cup olive oil
Salt to taste

Corn Purée
4 ears corn, kernels cut off cob, cobs reserved
1 bunch basil
1 medium shallot, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup butter
Juice of ½ lemon (reserve the remaining half for recipe below)
Salt to taste

Grilled Squash
5 summer squash, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

4 to 5 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced on a mandolin
Fresh dill sprigs


For the smoked salmon: Mix the salt, brown sugar and toasted fennel seeds together in a small bowl. Place the side of salmon, skin side down, on a half sheet pan. Cover the salmon with the cure, spreading it evenly over the surface of the fish, then sprinkle the chopped dill all over it. Cover completely with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours (24 is better than 12). When you have finished curing it, rinse the salmon thoroughly under cold water and pat it dry. Soak your choice of wood chips in cold water for at least 30 minutes. Start a charcoal grill fire. When the coals are hot, move all of them to one side of the grill. Add the soaked wood chips to the charcoal mound. Make a foil pouch for the salmon and place the fish skin-side down in the pouch. Place the salmon on the grill on the opposite side from the pile of coals. Place the lid on the grill and smoke the salmon at 180 to 200°F until the thickest part of the salmon measures 150°F, about 20 to 30 minutes. Start checking for doneness after about 10 minutes, and every 5 minutes thereafter.

For the salsa verde: Mix all of the ingredients except the salt in a bowl. Salt the sauce to taste.

For the corn purée: Start by making a corn broth. Cut the corn cobs into thirds and combine with the basil and 4 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. While the corn broth is cooking, sauté the diced shallots, sliced garlic, corn kernels, and a pinch of salt in the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, until the shallots and garlic are translucent. Strain the corn broth through a mesh sieve and add 3 cups to the sauté pan. Continue cooking until the liquid is reduced in volume by half. In a blender, process the corn mixture in small batches for about 45 seconds, then add the butter (make sure it melts in the warm liquid, or melt it separately), lemon juice, and another pinch of salt. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Keep warm by covering.

For the squash: Season the squash halves with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Grill the squash for three minutes per side. Allow the squash to cool before cutting into half moons and tossing with lemon juice.

To finish: Spread the corn purée onto large serving plates. Break the salmon up into chunks and place them on the corn purée. Sprinkle the grilled squash pieces over the purée. Drizzle the plate with salsa verde and garnish with the radish slices and dill sprigs.

Farmers Market Ingredients