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Cider-Glazed Salmon with Watercress, Endive and Red Grape Salad
Cider-Glazed Salmon with Watercress, Endive and Red Grape Salad

Like shirtdresses and our favorite pair of leggings, this elegant salmon-and-salad dinner was made for the shoulder season. At James Boyce’s newest Huntsville, Alabama, restaurant, Café Alana Shay, salmon takes on the flavors of fall via an apple-cider glaze that gets a welcome complexity from whole-grain mustard, fresh dill and a hint of horseradish. A simple watercress salad rounds out a meal that’s light enough to enjoy on a warm fall day but still filling enough to satiate on a colder one. It is, we think, the perfect weeknight supper for the season.

Makes 4 main-course servings
Start to Finish: 40 minutes

Ingredients

½ cup unsweetened apple cider

¼ cup pomegranate juice

2 tablespoons honey

¼ cup whole-grain mustard

¼ cup finely chopped fresh dill

1½ teaspoons freshly grated horseradish

Kosher salt

Four 6-ounce salmon fillets, with skin, pin bones removed

2 bunches watercress, trimmed (about 4 cups)

1 head Belgian endive, leaves trimmed and separated

1 small carrot, peeled and finely grated

¼ daikon radish, peeled and finely grated

½ cup halved red grapes

Juice from 1 medium lemon (about 3 tablespoons)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 450˚. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the cider with the pomegranate juice and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the honey and let cool slightly. Mix in the mustard, dill, horseradish and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

2. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange the salmon on the baking sheet, skin side down, and season with a pinch of salt. Using a pastry brush, coat the salmon with the glaze. Roast until just opaque in the center, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the salmon from the oven and let cool slightly.

3. While the salmon cools, combine the watercress with the endive leaves, carrot, daikon radish and grapes in a medium bowl. Toss the salad with the lemon juice and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Cut the salmon into 4 pieces and place on top of the salad. Serve immediately.

Finishing Touches

It's the details that count! Try these tips

  • Planning a trip to Alabama? Make a pit stop at Café Alana Shay.

  • The chef suggests making this dish a day in advance and serving it chilled. “It’s actually quite nice cold,” he says.

  • Try roasting the grapes (whole, not halved) along with the salmon. Ten minutes in the oven renders them soft and juicy, and adds a touch of rustic elegance to the salad.

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