It’s a wonderful combination, of both colors and flavors.
Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a thrill when the Copper River salmon comes in from Alaska. I like to buy the leaner and less-costly sockeye, though king is wonderful too (but costs twice as much) — and we’re fortunate to have such a good fish store in town. It’s always worth getting the freshest possible fish.
Grilled salmon is a great summer treat — but we don’t have a grill (and it’s one of many prohibitions our landlords have imposed). Fortunately, I discovered a new way of cooking the fish that keeps it moist and flavorful.
Actually, it’s not really my discovery, nor is it new. In fact, it seems as if nearly everybody’s been cooking salmon this way–but it’s new to me: the slow method, which I apply to so many other foods. In this case it’s the slow roast at a temperature I rarely use: 250 degrees. The low heat makes it that much harder to commit the cardinal sin of overcooking fish.
For a half-pound filet, just put on a light slick of oil on the fish (1/2 a teaspoon or so), some herbs (chopped thyme, chives, dill, basil, cilantro — really anything you like) and some lemon zest if you wish, salt and pepper. Then pop it in the oven, skin side down, until it’s flaky — 15 or 20 minutes or maybe more (start checking after 15 minutes). If you want to cut down the time a bit, you can start cooking in a skillet (skin side down) until the skin is crisped, then move it to the oven. One thing about this way of cooking: the fish won’t be really hot when you serve it. Cooked, yes, but hot, no.
There are so many choices for fresh greens this time of year. I had a nice bunch of bok choy from Terra Verde farms and I cooked it up with some chopped garlic and ginger.
I was feeling so virtuous after I ate this healthful dish that I decided I could have dessert: a light version of lemon panna cotta I’d made the day before.
Want the recipe? Go to my lemon blog and click the page on top labeled ‘Sweets.’ I’ve posted both the full fat creamy version as well as the lighter virtuous version.
By the way, this is a good a time as ever to tell you that my forthcoming book, Lemon: A Global History, is now up on Amazon and my press’s website. It won’t be out till September but you can take a peek at the contents now.
Meanwhile, if you have some salmon left over, and some nice fresh lettuce and arugula (or any other kind of salad greens), you can keep enjoying that salmon/green theme.