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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Beurre Noisette Salmon Sprinkled with Belper Knolle + A Syrah from Crozes-Hermitage #Winophiles

This month Jill of L'Occasion is hosting The French Winophiles and she has given us the direction of posting on the topic of Rhône Valley diversity. I really appreciate the flexibility of the topic in the wake of a hectic holiday season; I ended up pairing a Syrah from Crozes-Hermitage for a quick weeknight dinner.

The group embraced the challenge and are sharing these pairings...

The Vast Valley of the Rhône

map from

Given Jill's prompt of 'Rhône Valley diversity', I am guessing it's all fair game! I went back and looked at pairings I've done throughout the years from the area. There are several from up and down the valley.

In March 2018, I shared Sober Clams + a Crozes-Hermitage. In April 2020, I paired another Crozes-Hermitage with Chicken Chasseur. From the Côtes du Rhône Villages, I posted Braised Boar Shanks With Bitter Herb Salad + Vacqueyras Beaumirail and Herb-Crusted Pork Tenderloin + Xavier Vignon Arcane XIX Le Soleil 2015, in the Spring 2016. From Lirac, I offered Poulet au Citron et Lavande + La Lôyane 2016. Tavel is the only all-Rosé appellation in the Rhône and comes in a range of pinks - from the palest salmon to an almost bright magenta; I paired Roasted Salmon with Grilled Pineapple Pico de Gallo + Château D'Aqueria Tavel Rosé 2020.

In My Glass

The wine I selected for this post: the 2019 Château de Saint Cosme Saint Cosme Crozes-Hermitage.

Crozes-Hermitage is largest appellation in the Northern Rhône. And Château de Saint Cosme is one of the largest estates of Gigondas. Wine has been produced on the site of Saint Cosme since Roman times, as evidenced by the ancient Gallo-Roman vats carved into the limestone below the château. The property has belonged to the Louis Barruol’s family since the middle of the 16th century. Henri and Claude Barruol took over in 1957 and gradually migrated Saint Cosme from the bulk wine business to an organic (in the 1970s) and biodynamic (in 2010) winery.

A single varietal - Syrah - that retails for just over $40, this was a little bit pricier than my usual weeknight wine. But it was worth it! It poured an opaque magenta with a purple rim. On the nose there were notes of black fruit as well as savory layers of spices and olives. On the palate, the black fruit and olive layers were joined by subtle florals and a wave of acidity. There was also a hint of smoke that added to the allure of this wine.

On My Plate: Beurre Noisette Salmon Sprinkled with Belper Knolle

The dish I paired my Syrah from Crozes-Hermitage is a simple roasted salmon elevated with a bath of beurre noisette and a sprinkle of Belper Knolle. What?!? you ask. Let me start with defining those two things.

Beurre Noisette [bur nwah-zet] noun, French Cookery. Literally 'butter the color of a hazelnut.'

Brown butter is one of those magical ingredients that transforms the flavor of just about anything be it sweet or savory. Its nutty taste and aroma are out of this world. And it can add a creative twist to any recipe that includes butter.

To make beurre noisette: place 1/3 cup (1 stick) butter in a pan over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly. As the butter melts, it will foam and begin to darken. The color will progress from a pale lemon yellow to golden straw hue and, finally, to a hazelnut brown. Once you achieve the color and aroma you want, pour the beurre noisette into a glass container. The milk solids will continue to brown - and eventually burn - if you leave it in the pan.

Belper Knolle is a Swiss cheese made in the city of Belp, Switzerland. It's made from unpasteurized cow's milk and rolled in cracked black pepper. There is a red ribbon version that is soft. I had the gold version which is the dry, aged version.

Oven Roasted Salmon

  • 2 salmon fillets

  • smoked sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • olive oil for drizzling

  • Also needed: baking sheet, parchment paper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place fillets on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Place in the oven and roast for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the slices. You want them opaque and cooked through, but not dry!

To serve, place salmon fillets on serving plate. Spoon the beurre noisette over the salmon. Sprinkle with Belper Knolle and serve immediately.

That's a wrap on my January #Winophiles offering. Jeff of FoodWineClick! will be hosting as we venture to the Jura. Stay tuned.

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