Grilled Salmon (What is a Battuto?)

It is 98 degrees at 6:30, and after a day of paddling, this foodie is going to eat leftovers and have a nice green salad.  However, I’ve had a few comments (thanks!) about the current cover picture of the grilled salmon, and how it was cooked, so here it is.

I used to work for a restaurant called Romagnoli’s Table once upon a time when they opened their ill timed Salem branch of their famous Boston institution.  Some of you might remember a cooking show of the same name, Romagnoli’s Table. They were true foodies before it was popular, and their emphasis was always fresh.  Here is a web link for Franco Romagnoli, and they were very interesting people that I was glad that I got to know.

A “battuto” is a mixture of ground fresh herbs.  Since I have a kitchen garden, I just head out with my scizzors, and gather a bundle of whatever strikes my fancy that day.  Parsley, rosemary, thyme, margoram, lavender, chives were in that fish dish.  I got a couple of handfuls of the herbs, strippled off the leaves, and tossed them into my coffee grinder (which I use for the battutos).  I then put the very fragrant mix into a cup, and add salt, pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and form a paste.

Then I take the salmon and put it on the fish basket.  I love my fish basket! Anyway, then I coat the top of the salmon, and close the fish basket to grill it.  I grill the top to sear it, and make the lines on the fish.  Then I turn it over to heat through, letting the herbs soak in. A second coating of herb mix is nice also, but then turn it over to cook them.

You already realize that I don’t like overcooked food, but especially fish.  Don’t overcook the fish! It should only be on the hot grill for a few minutes per side, and the meat should be lustrous and shiny–not dry looking. Anyway, let the basket sit and open the top so it cools enough to pick it up.  It should lift right onto your platter.  This is really one of the simplest dishes that I know, and everyone loves it (if they like fish).

The battuto is used on pork, chicken, grilled veggies and anything you want.  Just tailor the herbs to fit the meat or vegetables.  I use fresh sage on pork roasts, for example.  Play with this one, and enjoy such a simple tip. I did, so long ago, and have used it ever since.  Bon appetit, and enjoy.


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