Sarah’s Salmon Sauce

My best friend and his wife at the University of Virginia had a baby daughter who has grown up to be a talented writer and the patient wife of a diplomat who travels the world, as well as a devoted mother and good cook.

Like my wife, Sarah believes in the “make do” school of cooking.  Here is what she wrote when I asked for more guidance on making her salmon sauce.  “I’m a great fan of experimentation….Sadly, some of the quantities are terribly lacking and I threw this together as “a little bit of this, a little bit of that, hmmm, how much of something do we have in the fridge?…”

Her explanation really describes how all recipes came to be.  Some overworked woman getting supper in the cave said to herself, “There’s not enough meat to go around, so I’ll just throw some of these leaves and roots in the pot” and the next thing you know, people were eating vegetable mammoth soup.

“Sarah’s Salmon Sauce” actually was named “Sarah’s Divine White Saurce” by her husband who first had it when they were living on St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.  With her permission I have renamed it “Sarah’s Salmon Sauce” because when I make it, it is salmon colored and has salmon in it.  Maybe I put too much tomato pesto in it, but it is a delicious way to serve salmon.


2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch (8 or 10) green onions
1 medium or 2 small Zucchini
3/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups half and half
1 can cream of asparagus soup
Fresh ground black lypepper
1 T sour cream
1 T tomato pesto
Two shakes hot sauce
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 lb. salmon fillet
Spice rub for fish
1 to 2 tsp. capers


Rub the fillets with your choice of spice rub and grill or sauté them until done,  Remove from heat.  Wash and finely chop the parsley, discarding the large stems.  Mince 3 large cloves of garlic and clean and chop the onions. Clean and chop the zucchini into bite-sized pieces.

Heat a tablespoon of  oil in a 3 ot 4 quart pan and sauté the garlic and onion for about two minutes.  Add the zucchini and sauté for another minute.  Add the soup, half and half, sour cream, pesto, capers and about 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.  Drain the water chestnuts and add them to the sauce.  With a fork break the fish into bite-sized flakes and add them to the sauce.  Stir in about a quarter teaspoon hot sauce and the parsley.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Serve over rice or pasta with bread and a green salad.

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