More than excited about the salmon I received from my brother-in-law’s fishing trip to Alaska, this meal has been a long time coming. Of course the salmon was flash frozen and not “fresh caught,” but here in Colorado, that’s the best we can do.

I’ve been formulating this particular flavor combo for a few weeks. You see, I like to mull over things in my mind, lose sleep over my creations, and compulsively tweak and twang things in my mind. (I really don’t love the toiling of my thoughts as I toss and turn at night, but it does happen ~ the life of a creative mind, I suppose).

Thus, fennel and mustard – a sweet and a pungent seeded taste – combine together for the perfect crust on a flaky pink fillet. Oh, and then served over a caramelized concoction of onions and fennel bulb, with a bit of kale and a balsamic drizzle to balance out every taste on the tongue… Oh, and at the last minute, a dash of some Dijon into the veggie spread made all the difference.
you will be drooling.

Don’t drool into your wine, though ~


~ As I’ve been delving deeper into he wine world, I’m also particularly excited about this meal’s wine pairing. Still a bit weary of whites and aware fish is best served with white, I still opted for the elegance of a pinot noir. It was fantastic. Ritual.

Fennel and Mustard Crusted Salmon with Caramelized Fennel Bulb, Onion, and Kale

Serves 2

2 4-6oz. salmon fillets
1 Tbs. brown mustard seeds
1 Tbs. fennel seeds
1/4 tsp. pink peppercorns
1-2 tsp. Himalayan sea salt
1 Tbs. Kerrygold butter (or coconut oil)

1 Tbs. Kerrygold butter (or coconut oil)
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped kale
sea salt and pepper
1 large glob of Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. balsamic reduction


Using a mortar and pestle, very roughly smash the seeds and salt into a “crust” for the fish. Rub into the salmon fillets.
Set a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. When a drop of water skitters on the surface, after about 3 minutes, add the butter (oil). Tilt the pan to coat the bottom evenly and heat until the oil is almost smoking, about 30 seconds. Add the seasoned salmonĀ to the skillet, skin side down. Cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn the salmon, lower the heat to moderate and sear until just cooked, 3 to 4 minutes longer.

Set aside.


Add additional butter to the skillet and then the veggies for great caramelization – about 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Just as things are finishing, stir in the glob of Dijon.

Plate with the veggies on the bottom, topped with the salmon. Drizzle with balsamic reduction.

Savor with sips of Ritual.


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