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Grilled Salmon with Red Wine BBQ Sauce, Hazelnut Butter and Cracked Wheat Salad with Grilled Vegetables

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 3 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 50 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr 35 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Hazelnut Butter:

1/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts

1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried cherries

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cracked Wheat Salad

1 cup medium-grind bulgur

2 1/2 cups boiling water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 red bell pepper

1/2 yellow bell pepper

1 zucchini, halved lengthwise

4 stalks asparagus, trimmed

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes

2 jalapeno peppers, grilled, peeled, and chopped with seeds

Canola oil

1/2 cup freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

3 lemons, juiced

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Red Wine BBQ Sauce:

2 tablespoons canola oil

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 cups red wine (recommended: Columbia Crest Merlot)

1 1/2 cups ketchup

3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons ancho chili powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon molasses

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets

Canola oil

Salt and pepper

Parsley leaves, for garnish


  1. For the hazelnut butter: Combine all ingredients in a bowl of a food processor and mix until combined; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before using.
  2. For the salad: Heat the grill to high. Place the bulgur in a large bowl; add the boiling water, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stir and let sit at room temperature until tender, about 25 minutes. If any water remains, place in a fine sieve and press down on it.
  3. Put the vegetables in a large bowl, toss with a few tablespoons of canola oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill the vegetables on the grates of the grill in a single layer. Grill the peppers until charred on all sides, place in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let steam for 10 minutes. Remove the skin, seeds and core and coarsely chop. Grill the zucchini for 3 to 4 minutes per side until slightly charred and just tender, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Grill the asparagus for 3 to 5 minutes per side or until just crisp tender. Remove from the grill and cut on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces. Grill the tomatoes until charred all over and just tender, about 5 minutes total.
  5. Place all of the vegetables, including the jalapeno and the parsley in the bowl with the cooked bulgur. Whisk together the zest, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper in small bowl. Add the dressing to the salad and toss to combine. Let sit at room temperature until serving.
  6. For the Barbecue sauce: Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.
  7. Add the wine, increase the heat to high and cook until reduced to about 1/2 cup. Add the ketchup and the remaining ingredients and cook until thickened and slightly reduced, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly.
  8. For the salmon: Heat grill to high, cast iron grill pan over high heat, or large nonstick saute pan over high heat. Brush salmon on both sides with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for about 4 minutes per side, brushing with some of the bbq sauce every 30 seconds. Remove from the grill, place on a platter and brush with more of the sauce. Serve on top of cracked wheat salad and place a tablespoon of the hazelnut butter on top of each salmon fillet. Garnish with parsley leaves and serve.
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