Salmon with Zinfandel and Cherries

Ever since the Oldways For the Health of it event this past spring, I have been trying to get more salmon into my diet, not just because it has so many health and beauty benefits, but also because it is pretty tasty and versatile. I am always dreaming up new recipes that involve both wine and seasonal ingredients, and last night’s dinner was the result of those creative thoughts.

My seasonal fruit obsession at the moment is without a doubt ripe, red cherries. Watermelon is a close second, but cherries win out, and they were one of the 3 stars of last nights dinner.


I started the dish by generously coating wild Alaskan sockeye salmon filets with coarse black pepper and crushed red pepper.

sockeye salmon

I grabbed a bottle of Zichichi Zinfandel, wine that was tasted from the barrel in the Dry Creek Valley of Sonoma last fall, and that was bottled and arrived at my doorstep in April.

Zichichi Zinfandel

I pitted the cherries with a small knife, a process that was a little tedious and that stained my fingers red, but was totally worth it. I am used to going to work with beet stained hands or the like; I’m not a fancy girl ;)

Then I very slowly simmered the cherries in about 2 cups of Zinfandel. I cooked the mixture on low for a long time, maybe 30 minutes? It reduced down to a lovely sweet mixture with the cherries providing a nice warm juicy pop.

cherries and Zinfandel

I pan cooked the salmon. The original plan was to oven roast it, but since it was 96 degrees out, I opted NOT to heat the oven up for a long period of time. Once the salmon was done to my liking, I topped it with the hot cherry and Zinfandel sauce.

salmon with cherry Zinfandel sauce

salmon with cherries and Zinfandel

It was completely amazing. This Zinfandel is juicy with a good hit of dark fruit, but it also has a bit of spice that paired well with the pepper that I used. The salmon was perfectly cooked, and the Zinfandel drizzled over it got all into the little nooks of the salmon, flavoring it throughout. While eating, my husband said “My God this is good.” I think that is the perfect seal of approval :)

I am going to the Taste of Cambridge with a bunch of other bloggers tonight, and I am super excited. I will also have a giveaway to announce a little later this week so be sure to check back.

Be Fit Be Full asked this the other day, but I will go ahead and ask it again since I think it’s worth talking about:

What is your favorite summer fruit?

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Tags: cherries, Food, recipe, salmon, wine, Zinfandel

  1. Elina’s avatar

    Meghan, this looks fantastic!! I’ve been dreaming about salmon with strawberries and now I have to add salmon + cherry combo to the list. Seriously, I am so impressed when people just “wing” a recipe like that. Amazing amazing. Happy Tuesday! :)


  2. ashleigh’s avatar

    I love, love, loove cherries!!

    A cherry zinfandel sauce sounds/looks awesome.

    Have fun at the taste tonight!


  3. Jessica @ How Sweet’s avatar

    This sounds PERFECT! I love salmon, and cherries…and zinfandel. I need to try it!


  4. Elin’s avatar

    I love salmon ! and the way you prepared it really makes me want to try it out myself…a cherry zinfandel sauce with it…sounds awesome ! Thanks for sharing the recipe :)


  5. brandi’s avatar

    yum. this looks like the perfect summer meal!

    We went to a restaurant the other night and they had a salmon with a blueberry chipotle chocolate sauce on the menu. I need to go back and try it.

    I love fresh peaches. And raspberries. And cherries!


  6. Michelle’s avatar

    This looks really great! I’m with you – I love cherries this summer!


  7. Ruby’s avatar

    What a great idea, putting fruit with fish – I never would have thought of that. To answer your question, raspberries are my favourite, but blackberries are the ones that most say ‘summer’ to me – can’t wait for them to be ready!


  8. Daisy’s avatar

    such a fun dinner you created!! I love PLUMS in the summer. something about a juicy sweet plum reminds me of being a kid eating them on the beach.


  9. howtobaker’s avatar

    This looks fantastic! As fate would have it, my neighbor went fishing yesterday and gave us a one of his salmon. I’ll have to try this out because fresh fruit and fish make a great combination.


  10. Megan’s avatar

    While I agree that salmon is delicious and oh-so-healthy and I’m sure this is amazing, I keep looking at the cherry-Zinfandel sauce and thinking about how well it would pair with a nice, juicy steak! I’m a bad influence.

    Also… I saw a recipe the other day for a drink with cherries soaked in amaretto…a little goes in the bottom of a glass and the rest of the glass gets filled with champagne! I have cherries on the brain.

    My favorite summer fruit is strawberries!

    Looking forward to see you tonight at TOC!


  11. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

    I fell in love with cherries yesterday, finally they’re cheap enough for me to buy them :)


  12. Shree’s avatar

    gorgeous pic of the cherries. lovely sauce as well


  13. Shannon’s avatar

    this sounds ABSOLUTELY amazing, and i must try!!


  14. Abby’s avatar

    THAT LOOKS GOOD! And I’m not a fan of wine OR seafood (well, I’m a vegetarian….)

    But seriously, if I made it for my hubs or others, I’d eat it for sure. Mainly because my reasons for not eating seafood or meat have nothing to do with ethics, only stomach issues and the fact that is grosses me out. So, with something so appetizing sitting in front of me…heck, yes!

    Ok, that was the strangest comment that I have ever left.


  15. Simply Life’s avatar

    Yum! What a great dish!


  16. Belinda @zomppa’s avatar

    My goodness – WHAT a combination! Great use of cherries and Zinfandel.


  17. Jen@Twenty-Something and Starving’s avatar

    Loveeeeeee cherries, but I think my favorite summer fruits are blueberries and peaches. Yum yum yum yum yum. This salmon looks wonderful!!


  18. Jaime @ La vie...J'aime’s avatar

    That looks positively delicious! I bet the cherries would be good on chicken too.


  19. Lindsay Meyer’s avatar

    How gourmet! Cherries = love.


  20. Jason Phelps’s avatar

    Definitely a spin on salmon I hadn’t seen yet but will have to try.



  21. Magic of Spice’s avatar

    I adore salmon, and those cherries…oh my:)


  22. Winepine’s avatar

    That looks fantastic. What a pairing!


  23. Alex T.’s avatar

    Is it raw salmon or smoked?
    Also, you need to learn how to focus your pictures; some were out of focus.


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