Grilled Salmon with Crispy Speck Ham, Sauce Puttanesca, Broccoli Rabe and Roasted Eggplant Purée

Courtesy of Executive Chef, Robert Hohmann Brix


Sauce Puttanesca
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 tablespoon anchovy essence or paste
1/4 cup garlic cloves
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
32 ounces clam juice
½ cup white wine
1 ten can of tomato puree (6lb-9ounce)
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme, in cheesecloth
1 tablespoon red chili flake, dried
½ tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup olive oil
½ cup rendered ham fat (see ground Speck ham recipe on next page)

Eggplant Purée
4 large eggplants
1 cup tahini
2 tablespoon roasted garlic puree or 1 tablespoon raw garlic
¾ cup lemon juice
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground

Crispy Speck Ham
4 ounces speck ham, ground
4 ounces canola or vegetable oil
1 ounce water
2 ounces broccoli rabe
5 ounces salmon


Sauce Puttanesca Preparation
In a blender, puree the garlic, capers, anchovy, and half the olive oil.

In a skillet or large rondeau, add the rest of the oil and heat to medium. Add onions and simmer until translucent. Add the ingredients from the blender and simmer for about 5 minutes. Deglaze with the vinegar and let evaporate. Then add the wine and let cook down.

Add clam juice, bay, thyme, oregano and chili flakes and cook for 10 minutes. Add tomato purée and cook until desired consistency. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Eggplant Purée Preparation
Preheat a grill to medium heat. Cut eggplant in half and score flesh in a cross hatch pattern. Lay eggplant on a rack and season with kosher salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Squeeze the eggplant of excess moisture then place on the grill flesh side down. Cook eggplant slowly, trying not to burn outer flesh and cook until tender. Remove from grill and let sit until cool enough to handle but still warm.

Scoop out flesh of eggplant into a bowl. Then in a food processor, blend the tahini, garlic, and lemon juice and cumin until incorporated. Then add eggplant salt, pepper and olive oil. Thin out with the water until desired consistency is reached (may not need all water).

Crispy Speck Ham Preparation
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pot and turn on medium-high heat stirring frequently. Continue to cook until all water has evaporated and the ground ham has become crispy but not burnt. Strain the fat off of the ham and reserve the fat for another use. Spread the drained ground ham on a sheet tray lined with towel until cool and crispy.

5 ounces Salmon, skin on or off, grilled to desired temperature
2 ounces broccoli rabe, roasted in an oven with olive oil, salt, pepper
1 ounce speck ham bits
2 ounces sauce puttanesca
1 ounce eggplant purée
Olive oil to finish

Begin by spreading eggplant purée on the dish. Layer sauce puttanesca over the purée and follow with the broccoli rabe. Place the salmon on top and sprinkle with speck ham bits. Finish with olive oil.

Wine Pairing: Napa Valley Estate Élu

Our Napa Valley Estate Élu is a full boded elegant wine that shows its versatility at the table as we offer it as a companion to a savory salmon dish. Often sauce is more important than protein when we consider food and wine parings. This is very much the case when red wine is the recommendation with a fish dish. The richness of speck and spice of puttanesca become the flavors that speak to the palette when we taste the salmon and enjoy the wine. Roasting the broccoli rabe in the oven serves to caramelize it for a better pairing with red wine. Grilling the salmon gives it a hint of char that highlights the complex body and subtle use of oak in our Napa Valley Estate Élu

Serves As


A great wine to celebrate

Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, Summer, Labor Day, Dinner Party, #CabernetDay

Pairs nicely with

Napa Valley Estate Élu

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