|© Copyright Dave Dunford and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence|
I remember being fascinated as a kid by these bright green little bundles of new leaves that grow on evergreen trees each spring. I never knew they were considered edible, though I may have nibbled a few out of curiosity. They have a marvelous, tangy (though astringent) flavor.
I made some spruce salt - just chop a few tablespoons of spruce tips very finely and mix with a cup of salt. The spruce tips have enough moisture in them to make the salt clump, so I added a few grains of rice to absorb the moisture. I also made some spruce sugar... more on that later.
And then I got a flash of genius! Salmon and spruce tips. Two great tastes that absolutely have to taste great together. Wild-caught Alaskan sockeye is in season now. This was about a pound of fish, and I rubbed it with about a half teaspoon of the spruce salt, a clove of garlic finely minced, and some freshly ground pepper.
I let it sit for a few minutes while I took some photos. I seared the skin side in a cast iron skillet until it looked like it was cooked halfway through, then flipped it over and cooked it for a few minutes more to an internal temperature of 140F.
With a glass of rose, and a shaved zucchini salad, it was a perfect summer dinner.