A mildly spicy salmon fillet placed into a hot cast-iron skillet to sear to a succulent, golden-brown perfection, and then topped with a mediterranean-inspired salsa fresca that offers a bit of cool and bit of bright-tanginess, makes for a perfect pan seared salmon, and makes an appetite happy.
It gives comfort, and becomes a delectable little luxury of a meal.
It warms from within, and offers an opportunity for gratitude for each bite taken. So let us try this 30 min meal together.
Yield: Serves about 4
• 4 salmon fillets, skinned (roughly 1 ¼ – 1 ½ pounds)
• Canola oil
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
• ½ teaspoon granulated onion
• ½ teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon ground coriander
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• Pinch cayenne pepper
• 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
• Mediterranean Salsa Fresca (recipe below)
• Toasted Couscous (recipe below)
-Place the salmon fillets onto a plate or into a large bowl, and drizzle in about 2 tablespoon of the oil; then, sprinkle in the paprika, the granulated garlic and onion, the cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne and lemon zest, and toss everything gently to coat the fillets evenly and well; allow the salmon to marinate for at least 20 minutes, or even over night.
-Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 2-3 tablespoons of the oil; once the oil is hot, add in the salmon fillets, and allow them sear on that first side for about 4 minutes, or until a deep, golden-brown; then, flip over and allow them to cook and sear on the other side for about 4 more minutes; remove from skillet.
-Serve with seared salmon generously topped with the Mediterranean Salsa Fresca, and a side of Toasted Couscous, if desired.
Mediterranean Salsa Fresca Ingredients:
• 1 cup small cherry or sugar tomatoes, quartered
• 1 small persian cucumber, finely diced
• ¼ yellow bell pepper, finely diced
• 2 tablespoons pitted kalamata olives, diced
• 2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
• 1 teapsoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
• ½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
• 1 teapsoon lemon juice
• Black pepper
-Combine all ingredients up to and including the lemon juice in a small bowl, and add a couple of pinches and salt and pepper; mix with a spoon to combine, and serve immediately, or keep covered and in the fridge until ready to serve.
Toasted Couscous Ingredients:
• 1 cup couscous
• 1 ¼ cup water
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 clove garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
-Place a medium-small non-stick sauce pan or pot over medium heat, and add in the couscous; toast the couscous, stirring it frequently, for about a minute or so, and then pour it out of the pan/pot; set it aside for a moment.
-Into that same pot or pan add the water, a couple of pinches of salt, the olive oil and the garlic, and stir to combine; bring the water to a vigorous simmer, pour in the couscous and stir, and turn off the heat; cover with a lid, and allow the couscous to soften for about 5-7 minutes; then, fluff with a fork, add the chopped parsley, and toss to combine; serve warm.