alder smoked chinook belly with basil pesto





chinook belly, fat, all flavor, smoked over alder chips, wild salmon line caught on the columbia, up from bonneville.
young summer basil, redolent at ten feet, resin fragrant pine nuts, bright garlic, extra virgin olive oil and parmegiano regiano. there are ways to make pesto, as the italians do, chopping the stuff with a mezzaluna, or, like my friend sumner’s, ground with a mortar and pestle, slow, a gradual grind, the oil added in drips and drops ending in a creamery paste, some of the pine nuts still coarse, some of the parmesan in tiny bits. fabuloso. then there is the ninety mph way, in the newly acquired cuisine art, not quite as crafty, still, when you’re hungry and the salmon is ready and you can’t wait, it will work.
as so often lately and because we got a superb deal on a case, we drank pinot gris, 07, from the eyrie winyard.