Friday, September 25, 2009

New, improved tea-encrusted salmon

My husband and I have eaten a lot of sandwiches the past few months, so it was pure luck when a friend asked what I was cooking for supper the other night and I was able to reply, "Earl Grey-Crusted Salmon with Juniper Berries."

"Really?" She just looked at me.

"Yes! But it's so easy!" I said, and it is.

About two years ago, I wrote a blog post about a delicious new dish I'd been making. The basic recipe came from the book "Eat Tea" by Joanna Pruess with John Harney, but I had been unable to find the called-for juniper berries, although I must say the recipe is just fine without them. I made the recipe so often in 2007, however, that I think I tired of it. Then, when I was at the beach last month I came across a jar of juniper berries at the market, and it triggered memories of that easy and delicious salmon recipe! It was fun to discover the juniper berries, which smell sweet, like a fruit, and have the taste and texture of an orange- and pine-flavored miniature raisin. Serve the cooked salmon with salad and voila, supper!

Earl Grey-Crusted Salmon
2 servings

2 salmon fillets (about 3/4 pound total)
1 medium navel orange
1 tablespoon Earl Grey tea leaves
8 juniper berries
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil (substituted this for the butter, and it was even better!)
More salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grate the orange and save the zest. Then, cut fruit into 1/4-inch slices.

In food processor, combine about two tablespoons orange zest, the tea leaves, juniper berries, salt and pepper. Process for about a minute.

Heat olive oil in iron skillet over medium to high heat. Season salmon with salt and pepper and saute, flesh side down, for about 5 minutes. Turn salmon over in pan and sprinkle the tea/orange zest mixture equally over fillets. Top each fillet with two orange slices and bake in oven for about 8-10 minutes. Delicious, and it's cooked and on the table in just 20 minutes!


  1. This is awesome! For longer than I have been interested in tea as tea, I have been curious about whether there are any recipes that use tea as an ingredient. I will have to check out this book.

    There is one episode of America's Test Kitchen where they use Lapsang Souchong to add smoky flavor to baked ribs. (They put it in a pan with water to make smokey steam.) I thought that was pretty cool too! I'm going to try it one of these days.

  2. That salmon looks delicious. I didn't know that juniper berries were used for anything other than flavoring gin - live and learn. :-)

  3. Oh, yum. Thanks for sharing. I love salmon!

  4. That looks very good. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  5. Oh Angela, this not only sounds great, but the picture is so mouth watering!

  6. Oh! this sounds delicious. I use to make white rice with early grey tea and my family loved it then, not anymore, too many inches on hips afterwards...I guess. Darling have a lovely weekend.


  7. It strikes me that such a recipe could be altered to substitute something else for that salmon. Perhaps mushrooms? Or tofu? I love the idea of the tea-encrusted food and would like to know if it can be done for something other than salmon this way. --Teaternity

  8. Angela,
    that looks devine! I do love salmon too. I've got to try this recipe when the family is out of the house! :)


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