It is essential when giving salmon this treatment that you first get the grill really good and hot, and that you only flash the fish under it very briefly – just long enough for it to start turning opaque. Do not allow it to cook all the way through or it will become dry. The Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon vinegar really imparts just the right balance of sweet and sour flavours. If you can’t get them, any very good-quality red wine vinegar or even a fine balsamic will be almost as good.
First make the spiced shallot vinaigrette: lightly sweat the shallots in the butter and oil with the thyme and chilli until the shallots are translucent. Add the honey and bring to the boil. Add the vinegar and reduce by two-thirds. Add the red wine and reduce until syrupy. Set aside.
Preheat a hot grill.
Arrange the salmon on serving plates and dot the vinaigrette all over it. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle over a little Maldon sea salt and quickly flash under the hot grill until the salmon just goes opaque.
Finally strew some young shoots or chives over the top to serve.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.