Though you may eat it year-round, Alaskan salmon season is only now in full swing. In honor of this, we got a grilled salmon recipe from Beau Schooler, chef of The Rookery Café in Juneau, Alaska. In this dish, the fish is placed over beluga lentils, only to be met by grilled figs and a fig mustard. It’s a light summer meal that is as easy as it is delicious.
Figs shine in this grilled fish recipe: Pick out ripe figs to ensure the mustard gets the right amount of sweetness. However, you don’t want them overripe, or they will fall apart when they hit the grill.
Grilled Salmon with Fig Mustard and Lentils
Recipe adapted from Beau Schooler, The Rookery Café, Juneau, AK
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
2 cups water
1 cup beluga lentils, rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint, plus whole leaves for garnish
1 tablespoon lemon juice
12 medium (8 ounces) Black Mission figs, divided
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup whole-grain mustard
Four 6-to-8-ounce Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. In a small saucepan, combine the water with the lentils and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed and the lentils are al dente, 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in ¼ cup of the olive oil, the mint and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, then keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, roughly chop 8 of the figs and place in a small saucepan with the wine. Bring to a simmer and cook, breaking up the figs with a wooden spoon, until the liquid has evaporated and the figs have broken down, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the mustard, salt and pepper, then set aside.
3. Light a grill. Rub 2 tablespoons of the olive oil onto the salmon fillets and season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until grill marks have formed, 3 to 4 minutes. Rotate each fillet 90º and cook another 3 to 4 minutes to form a crosshatch. Flip and cook until the salmon is medium rare, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate to rest.
4. Halve the remaining 4 figs and toss with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place cut-sides down on the grill and cook until lightly charred, 1 minute.
5. Divide the lentils between 4 plates and top each with a salmon fillet, 2 grilled fig halves and some fig mustard. Garnish with mint leaves and serve with lemon wedges.