Salmon Al Fresco
Salmon always tastes better to me in the summertime, evoking the nostalgia of eating simple filets and buttery corn on the cob on my parents’ screened porch overlooking their peaceful Midwestern lake. Everything seems to taste better on that screened porch, amidst the din of boats puttering along and the waves lapping against the rocky shoreline. Home is where the heart is, but in the summertime, my heart is where the lake is. But that’s another story for another time. Back to the salmon…
Beyond awakening memories of home, salmon is an easy summer choice anywhere, anytime because it’s quick and easy to prepare, and delicious with the bounty of vegetables the summer months serve up. So last night, with limited time, but a commitment to make something hearty and real, I brushed two pounds of salmon with olive oil, generously rubbed it with sea salt and pepper, and then broiled it until it was cooked through. We enjoyed it al fresco with the following three simple sides:
Warm Lentils and Vegetables (great to serve the fish on a bed of this)
- Saute one diced onion and two cloves of garlic with butter and a bit of dried thyme
- Add 6-8 diced carrots and a handful of chopped kale
- Add one package of cooked french lentils (you can get these at Trader Joe’s)
- Cook just until lentils are warmed through, so nothing gets mushy
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
- Toss whole potatoes with sea salt and pepper
- Roast in the oven at 400 until crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside
Kale Salad (courtesy of my childhood best friend Erin, who has a newborn and still made time to bring over this salad)
- Dried cranberries
- Dressing made of equal parts of lemon juice, olive oil, and Bragg’s Amino Acid
We ate al fresco with old and dear friends, with wine and barely any whining, underneath a rising full moon. An evening of rare, surprising, and welcome peace. Summertime salmon delivered again.
This meal is so easy that it doesn’t need to be saved for a Saturday night — if you have all the ingredients, you could easily make it in 30 minutes on a weeknight. Or as we did, save it to jazz up the weekend without too much work.