Wild Salmon Burgers with Lemon Ginger Beurre Blanc and Cilantro Gremolata

Pairs well with:

Sauvignon Blanc

With hints of passion fruit, melon, and citrus, this wine beckons you to kick back and find a perfect porch swing.


3 tablespoons minced shallot, (2 tablespoons for the lemon ginger beurre blanc and 1 tablespoon for the patties)
1 tablespoon finely grated, peeled fresh ginger
2 large lemons, squeezed and zested to yield:-
1/4 cup juice for the lemon ginger beurre blanc,
1 tablespoon of zest for the cilantro gremolata,
1/2 teaspoon of finely minced zest and 2 tablespoons juice for the patties
1/4 cup Sutter Home Sauvignon Blanc
1 3/4 teaspoons salt, (1/4 teaspoon for the lemon ginger beurre blanc and 1 1/2 teaspoons for the patties)
1 1/2 sticks butter, very cold
3/4 cup (tightly packed) fresh cilantro leaves
7 garlic cloves, (6 cloves for the cilantro gremolata and 1 clove minced for the patties)
2 pounds wild king salmon fillet, skinned and de-boned
8 hamburger buns, (2 buns processed into very fine crumbs for making the patties and 6 buns split for making burgers)
1 large red onion, (1/2 of the onion minced making the patties and 1/2 of the onion thinly sliced for garnishing the burgers)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Olive oil, for forming patties, brushing on patties and grill rack
30 arugula leaves



Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill with a cover, or preheat a gas grill to medium-high. To make the lemon ginger beurre blanc, combine 2 tablespoons minced shallot, ginger, 1/4 cup lemon juice , wine, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small, heavy fire-proof saucepan. Place on the grill rack and simmer, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Move saucepan to the outer edge of the grill rack and whisk in the cold butter, one tablespoon at a time, until melted. Remove saucepan from the heat and pour butter through cheese cloth (to remove solids) and into a bowl. Return the butter to the saucepan and vigorously whisk until mixture is smooth. Set aside and whisk from time to time. To make the cilantro gremolata, place the cilantro, 6 cloves of garlic, and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest in a pile on a cutting board. Using a large chef’s knife, hold the tip against the cutting board and rock the knife rapidly up and down, while gradually moving the knife sideways across the ingredients. Continue until the cilantro, garlic, and lemon zest are finely chopped together. Place in a small bowl and set aside. To make the patties, cut the salmon fillet into strips, cut the strips crosswise, and finely chop by hand until well minced and textured like raw hamburger. Transfer the salmon to a large bowl. Add 1/2 cup of the hamburger bun crumbs, minced red onion, 1 tablespoon minced shallot, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 teaspoon minced lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, Dijon mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and eggs. Handling the salmon mixture as little as possible to avoid compacting it, mix well. If the salmon mixture seems too wet to hold together, fold in 1 or more tablespoons of the remaining hamburger bun crumbs. Coat your hands with olive oil and form the mixture into 6 equal patties to fit the bun. Place formed patties onto a clean plate. When the grill is ready, brush the grill rack and both sides of the patties with olive oil. Place the patties on grill rack, cover, and cook, turning once, for about 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through (internal temperature of about 150 degrees). During the last few minutes of cooking, place the saucepan with the beurre blanc on the edge of the grill rack and vigorously whisk until smooth and warm. Place the buns, cut sides down around the outer edges of the grill rack to toast lightly. To assemble the burgers, place 5 arugula leaves on the cut side of each bottom bun, place equal amounts of red onion slices on top of the arugula. Place patties on the red onion slices. Spoon equal amounts of the warm beurre blanc over the top of each patty followed by sprinkling an equal portion of the gremolata evenly over the top of each patty. Add the bun tops and serve.