Daily Archives: May 24, 2020

Roasted Salmon with Fennel, Lemon & Caper Relish

Salmon is on the weekly rotation at our family table for good reason: it’s a healthy lean protein, packed with omega fatty acids, quick to whip up, and endlessly versatile. We all love it, but have our own favorite way to eat it. My daughter loves it plainly roasted, I like to pile on veggies to give it more flair, and my husband douses it with lots of lemon. A trick that I’ve learned to make everyone happy, but not make separate meals for everyone, is to create a delicious sauce that can be served on the side. My daughter will gobble it up, and sometimes be a little adventurous trying a bit of the topping, while my husband and I can feel like our gourmet sensibilities are satisfied. Here are some of my favorite spring flavors that come together in a quick saute to dress up roasted salmon, or even grilled chicken or pork.

Roasted Salmon with Fennel, Lemon & Caper Relish and Herb Quinoa

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 fennel bulb, stems and fronds removed (save for stock) and the bulb diced

1 shallot, chopped

1 garlic clove, grated

1/4 cup of white wine

1 tablespoon of capers

zest and juice of one lemon

2 tablespoons of chopped parsley

Olive oil, salt & pepper

4 6-ounce salmon filets (I used wild steelhead salmon)

Method:

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon filets on the paper. Drizzle with olive oil, salt & pepper and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the shallots and fennel, season with a few pinches of salt and pepper, and cook until the vegetables soften and brown slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for about a minute, making sure the garlic browns but doesn’t burn. Add the wine and stir, then allow the wine to reduce by half, until syrupy. This will take about 3 minutes. Next, add the capers, lemon juice and parsley, giving one final stir. Turn off the heat and taste the relish for seasoning, it should be lemony with a slight licorice taste. Add more lemon, salt and pepper if you need it.

Put the salmon filets in the heated oven and roast for about 10-12 minutes. Remove them from the oven when the salmon is pink and firm. Top the salmon with the fennel mixture, drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired, and serve.

Herb Quinoa

This super-simple side dish is another staple at our family table. Usually I double up on it so I can make quick grain bowls through the week. Two keys to terrific quinoa are thoroughly rinsing the quinoa with cold water in a mesh strainer to rinse off the bitter coating, saponin, that’s on the outside. I think quinoa gets a bad rap because people have cooked it without taking this step! The next must-do is to toast it up in olive oil with either chopped onions (green ones are great too!), shallots or garlic before you put cooking liquid in. Water or stock is your choice, and in this recipe, any herbs you choose are fair game.

Herb Quinoa

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 chopped shallot (or 3 green onions or a quarter of one onion, chopped)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup rinsed and drained quinoa (the multi-colored quinoa makes a beautiful presentation!)

2 cups water (or stock, whatever you prefer)

salt & pepper

1/2 cup of chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, thyme, chives

Method:

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil, enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the shallots, garlic and quinoa, stirring frequently to combine and toast, and cook for about 1 minute. Add a generous pinch of salt and stir everything together. Cover the pan with a lid and heat to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. When the quinoa is finished, the the germ ring will show around the outside of the grain.

Let the quinoa rest for about 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Fold in the herbs, season with a bit more salt and pepper, then taste for additional seasoning. Serve right away or cool and store in the fridge for 3 days or freezer for 3 months.