If you are at all familiar with Texas, you are aware we have a beautiful coastline, many gorgeous lakes and rivers; but salmon are not indigenous to our state. Being raised in a small rural town there was no fishmonger within 100 miles and the only salmon you could buy locally came from a can. Now I’m blessed to live in an area where fish and seafood are available in abundance and the options of salmon are plentiful. But knowing how to cook this delectable fish, well it can be a challenge.
This is a quick and delicious way to cook salmon and works equally well with Atlantic or Pacific salmon. You start by partially pan searing the salmon then quickly finish it in a hot oven, leaving the fish tender and delicious. The flavors are fresh and rich, enhanced with simple seasonings of kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper and olive oil.
To compliment this beautiful piece of salmon, take advantage of the luscious fresh fruits in season and serve with a Fresh Summer Salad. Start with sweet peaches or nectarines, then add ruby red strawberries, plump blueberries, toasted almonds and a delightful honey goat cheese all tossed with mixed greens. A feast for the eyes and the palate!
This recipe serves two for an entrée and can easily be adjusted for one of more.
Roasted Salmon and Summer Salad
For the roasted salmon:
2 pieces center cut salmon, each piece about 3” wide and about ¾” thick
½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
3-4 tablespoons olive oil, enough to coat all sides of the salmon
Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a dish; add the salmon and turn to completely coat each piece in the olive oil. Turn skin side down and generously sprinkle the kosher salt and black pepper over the flesh of each piece of salmon. Let the salmon rest for about 15 minutes.
Lightly spray a large ovenproof skillet with a cooking spray. Heat the pan over medium high heat until pan is very hot. Quickly add the pieces of salmon to the pan, flesh side down and cook for 3 minutes. Do not move the salmon, let it sear in place.
Turn the salmon over and place in a 400-degree oven for three minutes, 4 minutes if your salmon is thicker. Remove the pan from the oven and let the salmon rest for about 5 minutes before serving.
For the salad:
3 cups fresh mixed greens
10- 12 fresh basil leaves
2 fresh peaches or nectarines, peeled if you prefer and sliced
6-8 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup fresh blueberries
3-4 tablespoons crumbled honey goat cheese, Montchevre Honey Goat Cheese is a wonderful cheese
2-3 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
In a large bowl, combine the mixed greens, basil leaves, fresh fruit, goat cheese and almonds; toss together. Dress with your favorite vinaigrette or salad dressing.