One of my favorite foods is salmon.
I couldn’t go completely vegetarian, much less vegan, if I could never have salmon again.
I know… fishing is horrible and so much is wasted. But I’m going to be honest; it’s hard to remember when I’m not on that end of the food chain. I’ve decided to be pescetarian this year (the only animal I eat is fish/seafood) so I am a few steps closer (not that I really like red meat or poultry that much to begin with). Maybe I can go all the way to no animals but … that’s a resolution for another year.
Um… anyway, with that being said, please enjoy seared salmon (wild-caught), with lemon-kale salad. It looks gourmet (or so I think) but it’s so super easy, I randomly made it for lunch one day which had the added benefit of natural light coming in (when often I end up finishing a dish at night and have to make do with our dim kitchen lights). Just cook the salmon, toss the kale, and you’re good to go!
Seared Salmon with Pecorino-Romano Lemon Kale Salad
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
4 cups kale, rinsed and dried
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
Salt & pepper
1/3 cup whole-grain breadcrumbs (I baked a piece of whole wheat bread, torn in pieces at 400 for 6-10 min; it gets dry and toasty and can be crumbled into breadcrumbs)
1/3-1/2 cup Pecorino cheese
4 salmon filets (I use the frozen wild-caught ones from Costco; just thaw in a bowl of cool water)
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup white wine
Remove the the tougher-looking ribs from the kale, lay leaves on top of each other, and slices into 1/4” ribbons. Put them all in a bowl. (Mine was pre-sliced).
In a food processor, whiz the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cloves, salt, and pepper and adjust the seasonings to taste; you may need to also adjust the lemon juice : olive oil ratio. Too tangy? Add some honey (I didn’t). Pour some over the kale and let those kale leaves soak it all up.
Take the thawed salmon (if not fresh) and dry both sides with a paper towel, and sprinkle/rub on the garlic, salt, pepper and dried basil. You don’t really have to measure; just sprinkle it on. Heat some oil in a large skillet and add the salmon filets skin-side down and let them get crispy, about 5 minutes (mine didn’t get that crispy… not sure what to do?) Flip, sear for 1 minute, and add white wine. Cook 5 minutes, checking for doneness along the way (depending on thickness of filet). Remove the salmon.
To finish the kale salad, add breadcrumbs, pecorino, and any leftover dressing (if so) to the salad and toss to combine.
Serve each plate with lots of kale and a salmon filet.
I like salmon skin, so I plated it with the skin showing. This meal is so healthy and satisfying (my second time making it). The kale, especially, is delicious with the lemon/cheese/garlic combination; the kale’s bitterness is toned down with the acidity of the lemon and pairs well with the salty flavor of the cheese, with bite from the garlic. Breadcrumbs added a nice contrast visually and in taste, texture, and flavor. Although tasty when fresh, the salad only gets better when it’s allowed to sit–kale is pretty hardy and doesn’t get soggy from the dressing.
The salmon is so yummy and hard to mess up. Simply sear and cook until cooked through! It results in a mellow flavor that doesn’t compete with the kale, just complements it.
All in all, a delicious meal.