Crispy seared salmon with a light, tangy farro orzo salad is perfect for any season.
Our CSA is bountiful this year. We are getting lots and lots of squash, zucchini and kale. Good thing we like them, a lot. Sometimes you have to be creative in how you prepare them lest the large quantities of the same vegetables become monotonous. This salad was one of those creative attempts, and if I do say so myself, it turned out pretty good.
- 2 wild caught salmon filets (fresh as you can get)
- 1 package Farro Orzo pasta
- 2 medium squash, cubed in ¼ pieces
- 1 large zucchini, cubed in ¼ pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cubed in ¼ pieces
- 1 small punch of dinosaur kale, julienne
- ½ small red onion, sliced in very thin strips
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Feta cheese, crumbled
- Salt and pepper
- Oil blend, (I like canola and olive 50/50)
- Start by preparing the orzo per the instruction on the package. Allow to cool and set aside.
- In a small bowl, add the thinly sliced onion and the red wine vinegar. I find letting the onion soak in the vinegar takes the edge off the raw onion. You can skip this if you like.
- Turn your oven’s broiler on. Toss the squash, zucchini, bell pepper and kale with olive oil, salt and pepper together on a sheet pan. Place under the broiler. Cook until you get a little color on the veg. You do not want these to be mushy or burned.
- Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Add just enough of the blended oil to coat the pan. When the pan is good and hot, place the salmon in the pan, skin side down. Cook about 2-3 minutes and flip cook until skin is crispy and the fish is cooked to your liking.
- In a large bowl, combine the orzo, vegetables, dill, thyme, vinegar, feta, olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
On Saturday’s my wife and I love to go to Northampton Wines and Café. We eat lunch and enjoy a glass a wine (or two). The lunch menu is usually only four items each week and they usually fill us up just right. With that said, it is generally a more lavish mid-day meal than either of us is used to. I tell you this because usually after a lunch like that, I crave something light. On this particular Saturday, we visited The Fresh Market and found beautiful Atlantic salmon.
While I was craving light, my wife was craving heat. (Shhhh…Since we first met, I’ve been secretly increasing her heat tolerance which was non-existent. Now she loves almost as much heat as I do.) To satisfy both of our cravings, I decided on Asian Salmon with an udon noodle stir-fry and spicy pickled carrots. The meal did not disappoint, although I might have gone a little overboard on the heat, it was delicious. I think it worked because of pickles had a sour heat and the marinade had a sweet heat.
I apologize for the measurements (or lack thereof). I do this quite often, the whole point of this blog was to remember recipes, I just hate measuring anything. Make enough marinade for the udon as well.
- Low-sodium soy sauce
- Dale’s steak seasoning (or just add more regular soy sauce)
- Fish sauce
- Rice wine vinegar
- Maple Syrup
- Granulated garlic
- Powdered ginger
- Crushed red pepper flake
- 2 salmon filets, skin on
- Vegetable oil
- 1 bunch of carrots, cleaned, 1/2 cut in thin julienne, 1/2 sliced
- 1 red onion, 1/2 thinly sliced, 1/2 sliced
- Assortment of bell peppers, sliced
- 2 serrano and 2 jalapeño chili, 1 each sliced in thin strips and 1 each sliced in rings
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- 4 green onions, sliced on the bias
- 1/2 package of udon noodles (spaghetti will work)
- Kosher salt
Spicy Carrot Pickle Directions
- Combine salt, sugar rice wine vinegar, water and the sliced rings of serrano and jalapeño peppers in an air tight container and shake to disolve salt. Again, no measurements here, just taste it and adjust to how you like your pickles.
- Add the julienne sliced carrots and thinly sliced onion to the container. If necessary, add more vinegar or water to insure all vegetables are covered.
- Place in the refridgerator. You can do this days in advance. The longer they sit, the spicier they will be.
- In a whisking bowl, combine the first nine ingredients. Again, sorry for the lack of measurements here. I would say make it to your taste. If you like it sweeter add more syrup, more heat add more sriracha or crushed red pepper.
- Make several incisions in the salmon, against the grain. Place the fish in a large flat bowl and spoon marinade over. Let sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook udon per instructions on the package. Once done, drain, rinse and set aside.
- Bring an oven safe pan to medium high heat. Add vegetable oil. Sear salmon on both sides finishing with the skin side down. Baste with extra marinade from the flat bowl. Cook through to desired done-ness.
- Meanwhile, heat a wok over medium high heat.
- Add remaining vegetables with vegetable oil and cook until desired done-ness.
- Add remaining marinade and udon noodles. Toss until coated and mixed.
- To serve, place serving of noodles topped with salmon and pickled carrots. Enjoy.