Grilled fillet of salmon with a merlot, olive & rosemary compound butter

For the salmon:

  • six 6-oz. salmon fillets
  • peanut oil
  • salt and pepper

For the Compound Butter:

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 bottle Merlot
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Early in day of serving: Pour Merlot into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow wine to reduce to about 3 tablespoons, gradually reducing flame as amount of wine reduces to prevent scorching. Remove from heat when finished and cool. In an electric mixer beat together the butter, herbs and olives until smooth and evenly blended. Add the cooled reduced wine and beat again until mixture is smooth and well blended; add salt and pepper to taste. Scrape compound butter into a small bowl and refrigerate until mixture begins to set up, about 20 minutes. Stir mixture and refrigerate a few more minutes. Now place butter mixture in an oblong shape on a large piece of plastic wrap. Wrap up the butter mixture and gently roll it into a log shape. Return to the refrigerator for a few hours.

One hour before serving: Remove salmon from refrigerator. Prepare your grill and heat to medium-high flame. While grill is heating, check salmon for bones. Pull them out with a pair of needle-nosed pliers (for cooking, not from the garage!) or with tongs. Brush salmon fillets generously with peanut oil on both sides, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. When grill is ready, begin grilling salmon, meat side down. Grill 8 or 9 minutes or until nicely marked. Turn fillets over and finish cooking on skin side, approximately another 4 or 5 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached. Place cooked fillets onto warm serving plates and top with a thick slice of the chilled compound butter. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.