Recipe courtesy of Wolfgang Puck

Roast Salmon with Black Pepper and Ginger on Celery Root Puree

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  • Total: 4 hr 5 min
  • Prep: 1 hr 5 min
  • Cook: 3 hr
  • Yield: 4 servings
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4 (6 to 7 ounce, 3/4-inch thick) salmon fillet pieces


2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped

For the Sauce:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 shallots, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 plum tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped

2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 cup chicken stock, recipe follows


Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

Celery Root Puree, recipe follows

Chicken Stock:

5 to 6 pounds chicken bones, including necks and feet, coarsely chopped

About 3 1/2 quarts cold water

1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced

1 medium onion, quartered

1 small celery stalk, sliced

1 small leek, sliced

3 sprigs parsley, with stems

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon whole white peppercorns

Celery Root Puree:

1 celery root (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 or 2 small baking potatoes (about 4 ounces), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Freshly ground white pepper


  1. Season the salmon lightly with salt. Brush the top of the salmon with a little melted butter and immediately sprinkle evenly with crushed pepper and chopped ginger. Drizzle the remaining butter over the salmon. If you wait too long, the butter will harden and the mixture won't stick. Refrigerate, covered, until needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  3. Prepare the sauce: In a small saute pan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter until foamy. Over medium heat, saute the shallots and garlic until the shallots are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Pour in the wine and vinegar, turn up the heat a little, and reduce until 1/2 cup remains. Pour in the chicken stock and reduce by half. Strain into a clean pan. Finish sauce by whisking in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  4. Brush some olive oil over a baking tray large enough to hold the salmon slices in 1 layer and arrange the salmon on the pan. Roast until medium, about 10 minutes. The salmon should be cooked on the outside, but still moist and slightly underdone on the inside.
  5. Divide the sauce among 4 warm dinner plates. Spoon equal amounts of celery root puree in the center of each plate and place 1 piece of salmon on top.

Chicken Stock:

  1. Place the chicken bones in a 6-quart pot, pour water over to cover and bring to a rolling boil. Skim off the scum that collects on the top. Add the remaining ingredients, lower the flame, and simmer about 2 hours, skimming as necessary. Strain into a clean bowl and cool. Refrigerate in a container for up to 3 days, discarding the hardened layer of fat before using or freezing.
  2. Yield: about 2 quarts

Celery Root Puree:

  1. Place the celery root and potato in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Season with salt and cook until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the water and return the celery and potato to the pan. Pour in the cream and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until thickened and most of the cream is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Puree in a food mill, return to the pan, and keep warm over simmering water. Use as needed.
  3. Yield: about 2 1/2 cups