Sunday, January 23, 2011

Super Satisfying Simple Salmon

When I eat meat it is almost always this - Salmon.

I love this dish because it's fast, it's simple, and it's so complementary with so many things.  This salmon is spectacular on top of a spinach salad garnished with toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and black beans. Sprinkle with a little crushed black pepper and a drizzling of balsamic vinegar, and that salad + this salmon = love at first bite.

I usually purchase about a 10 oz. salmon steak.  My grocer offers a wild option and a farm raised option.  The wild salmon has a much darker, pinky-red hue from eating all the yummy wonderful things that salmon naturally eat out in the wild I guess.  When set side-by-side in the case, the difference in color is really quite remarkable.  The farm raised salmon is fed some kind of corn derived meal which, just can't be as good for them, and therefore me, as the wild stuff.  So, all that is just to say, I like to go "wild" as often as I can.

4.25 oz. can chopped black olives
half the contents of 2-1/2 oz. jar capers
boneless, skin removed, salmon fillet(s)
olive oil cooking spray

large skillet
small food processor

Preparation:  Drain and place half the caper jar's contents of and chopped black olives into food processor and pulse until completely diced and well combined.  Cut salmon fillet into three equal parts.  Spray pan with olive oil and turn to medium heat.  With spoon, spread caper/black olive mixture on top of each fillet and then set that side down onto the pan.  While first side is cooking (about 5-7 minutes) spoon mixture onto other side of fillet.  Turn meat and allow to cook another 5-7 minutes or until fish has turned from dark coral to light pink color and shreds with a fork.  Remove from heat and serve.

This fish is delicious right out of the pan but it also keeps well if you want to enjoy it on top of a salad for the next days lunch.  This week, my husband and I enjoyed our fish along side a baked Heirloom Tomato dish that I'll soon share the recipe for here too.

Salmon is one of those lucky foods that has gradually crept it's way into the American consciousness as a "health food."  It's loaded with those good-for-you, omega-3 fatty acids.  It's a great source of vitamin D (which we all need to make sure we get plenty of for its uber important mood boosting benefits... especially this time of year!).  There is a lot more evidence and information on the health benefits of this pretty, pink fish.  Regardless of whether you care about the health facts, the all important TASTE factor is off the charts with this one!  Like I said, its simple and sometimes, that's the food that's simply the best.


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