baked lemon-garlic salmon with lemon balsamic kale and spinach salad

I was at a book event a while back in this gorgeous little town, and upon discovering I was starving, (happens ALL THE TIME), I wandered into this fantastic little restaurant/pub/bistro that served up one of the better meals I’ve had in my life. And this people, this is saying something.
Perhaps it was because I was so hungry.
Or that I was alone for the weekend ( my four littles stayed at home with kind and generous husband!) —Introverts unite.
Or perhaps it was because for the first time in a long time no one drooled in my food, asked me for things mid-bite, or wiped ketchup across the small of my back while I was eating. (See earlier note about being alone).
Regardless, the meal was marvelous. Balsamic-lemon arugula salad topped with a maple spice-rubbed salmon done just right, and all the black coffee I could drink, (served hot, I might add, without the necessity of microwaving several times over). And did I mention I was alone? Ah yes. Sorry.

Since that wonderful, albeit staggeringly simple meal, I’ve been trying to re-create the experience. Taste-wise at least. And last night I think I got it.
There was dancing in my kitchen.

I am pleased to share my own version with you, slightly easier and more expedient to prepare, because I know how difficult it is to focus or do things with precision when small people are wiping ketchup on your back/legs/butt.
Enjoy!

LEMON-GARLIC SALMON W/LEMON-BALSAMIC KALE & SPINACH SALAD

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1 large fillet of salmon
Enough fresh kale and spinach to feed four people

Salad Dressing:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons balsamic vinaigrette
½ teaspoon fresh pressed garlic
a dash of salt

Butter sauce for salmon:
2 tablespoons clarified butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh-pressed garlic
1 teaspoon Italian spice blend
a dash of oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with tin-foil and lay the salmon, skin-side down, on the foil. Mix up butter sauce in a small dish, and with a sauce brush, drizzled and coat the fish with the sauce until it is completely used up. Pop it in the oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size of the fillet). The goal is to have a flaky fillet that isn’t overly-cooked and dry. You should be able to cut into it and have the flesh flake apart, but still be slightly pink in the very thickest part of the fillet.

Meanwhile, mix up the salad dressing and blend the two greens in a large bowl. Arugula can also be used, or any combination of young greens. Personally, I like how the kale and spinach hold their own with the fish. Pour dressing over greens, one tablespoon at a time, tossing until the greens are coated but not dripping. There will be dressing left over.

Plate greens and top each serving with a slice of salmon, roughly 2 inches wide.

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