Thursday, October 22

Salmon & Salad with Dijon Dressing

For a very long time, I didn't eat salmon. I blame this entirely on my food service career. Fish is hard to do - and particularly hard to do well - in the catering, commercial, and industrial food service venues in which I was primarily exposed to it. Food safety regulations require that you cook it to death to begin with. Let it sit at all, on a buffet or plated while other meals are finished, and it gets even worse. I still won't eat the stuff cold. (Blegh!) 

Clearly not my photo, but appropriate.
It's pretty much impossible to get decent fish out here anyway, so for years it was just off the table altogether. But a few times we miraculously got our hands on some decent fillets of salmon, and my Prince grilled them for us. And that was eye opening. Under his skilled hands, it was suddenly flakey and buttery and divine.

While we still have a hard time sourcing salmon, I've been inspired by that grilled loveliness to learn how to cook salmon on the stove or in the oven. It's still a work in progress, but we recently tried this delectable (and stupidly simple) recipe and loved it. I wanted to share. 

This is from the Thrive Market cookbook, attributed to JJ Virgin.  It took far less time to toss together than advertised, and is a new favorite.

Pan-Seared Salmon Over Tri-Colored Salad with Dijon Dressing*

2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots**
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground
black pepper
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small head radicchio, thinly
sliced, about 2 cups
1 Belgian endive, thinly sliced,
about 1 cup
3 cups baby arugula
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil***
2 6-ounce wild salmon fillets, such as King or Sockeye
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine the lemon juice, shallots, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the oil until well combined and set aside. 

In a separate bowl, combine the radicchio, endive, and arugula; set aside.
Heat the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Sprinkle salmon with salt and pepper and place in skillet, flesh side down; cook, until fish flakes easily with a fork, 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.
Toss the dressing with the lettuces and place on the two plates; top each with a salmon fillet.

*   Sub any type of greens or salad mix you like or have on hand.
**  I used regular onions, eyeballed them at well over this amount, and it was still excellent.
*** I subbed butter. (Yes, I know, I do that a lot.)

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