Earlier this summer Al and his girlfriend spent several days in the seaside village of Camden, Maine, where they stayed at the Hartstone Inn. As luck would have it, not only was this a superb inn, but one of the owners is a superb chef. Al invited Chef Michael Salmon to be a guest on "Radio Kitchen," and give us the Down East take on summer eating in Maryland.
Grilled summer squash is a staple, and Chef Salmon likes to use it as a bed for a featured protein. Either cut into thin strips, or julienned (and grilled in a basket), zucchinis and yellow squash work well that way. Sweet white corn will find its way into relishes, which summer melons like our cantaloupe form a base for summer soups. Grilled peppers accompany a broad array of dishes, and peaches will be turned face down on the grill. Our blue crab is known in Maine, and the Chef loves to build salads around its sweet white meat.
Here's a recipe for one of Chef Salmon's favorite dishes: Grilled Salmon
Let's get Michael's take on the following foods: summer squash, sweet white corn, peppers, melons, peaches, crab, and rockfish.
One dish that caught me eye in your cookbook is Grilled Salmon Nicoise, a variation on the classic French Salad Nicoise. What I like about it is that all of the ingredients are really easy to come by in Maryland.
GRILLED SALMON NICOISE
As served at the Hartstone Inn by Chef Michael Salmon
6 plum tomatoes
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 lb. small potatoes (Peruvian Purple or Yukon gold)
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1/2 lb. haricot verts (or fiddlehead ferns)
4 6 oz. salmon fillets, skinned and boned
4 hard boiled eggs cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup olives (nicoise or kalmata)
one head of Bibb or Boston lettuce (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush the paper with olive oil.
2. Core and cut the plum tomatoes in half lengthwise and place them cut side up on the baking sheet. Drizzle the tomatoes with 2 tbs olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and black pepper. Bake until browned on top.
3. Place the small potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water and salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from hot water and cool slightly. Cut the potatoes in half or quarters, place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper and the rosemary, and bake in the 375 oven for about 20 minutes.
4. Toss the beans in boiling salted water and blanch for about 1 minute. Plunge them into ice water to cool.
5. Dress the salmon fillets with olive oil, salt and pepper. Using a fish basket, grill the fillets about three minutes per side (depending on thickness) not allowing it to over-cook.
6. Re-heat the beans and dress with olive oil, salt and pepper.
7. To serve (optional step: create a bed with leaves of cold, washed Bibb lettuce) create a mound of potatoes in the middle of each plate. Top with the haricot verts and the salmon fillet. Place the eggs and three roasted tomatoes on the side, and sprinkle some of the olives about. Dress with a mustard vinaigrette.
The Hartstone Inn is in Camden, Maine. Their email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chef Michaels book is called In the Kitchen with Michael Salmon.