My friend Nancy has been asking me when I would post the meal of salmon with spinach I prepared over a week ago. Like me, she loves that combination. So as requested, here's the post Nancy. I have to take my hat off to her, because she uses my blog for menu ideas, and prepares most of the things she sees here. It's a huge relief when she and her family like the recipes. You never know if someone will hate something you recommend.
I do like the combination of salmon and cooked greens. The slightly bitter taste of cooked greens paired with the sweet salmon is always terrific. Frankly, if you have a good piece of salmon, you don't have to do very much with it. Here, I dusted the fillets with some grated lemon rind and chopped dill, and pan grilled it. Very simple and quite good. The spinach has raisins, onions, and pine nuts in it. This was a fast, healthy and delicious meal. Hope you agree Nancy.
One of the pleasures of making the meal were the beautiful colors and smell of the ingredients. I started by grating the zest of one lemon onto salmon fillets and covering them with chopped fresh dill. Then I set that aside in the fridge while I prepared the spinach.
I used 2 pounds of spinach, which I cleaned by removing the stems. If you use baby spinach, you can skip that step altogether. It's amazing how 2 pounds of spinach cooks down into a much smaller amount. If you love spinach like we do, this can easily serve two people. But, it would also serve 4 people, depending on how much they like spinach.
We loved the spinach. My only problem with the salmon was that the dill taste was a bit muted. I think making a simple sauce of dill with a little yogurt would have bumped up that yummy dill taste. But, this was a very satisfying meal.
Spinach Sauteed with Raisins and Pine Nuts
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 lb. spinach leaves, tough stems removed and
leaves well rinsed (If you use baby spinach you don't need to remove the stems)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper or cayenne
pepper, to taste
Put the raisins in a small heatproof bowl and add boiling water to cover. Cover the bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, if desired, toast the pine nuts by heating them gently in a dry small, heavy fry pan over medium heat, tossing them every so often as they become golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Watch the pine nuts closely as they burn easily. When toasted, immediately pour onto a plate.
In a fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and saute lightly until golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute more. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Put the spinach with just the rinsing water clinging to the leaves in a saucepan over medium-high heat, cover, and cook until the spinach is bright green and wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain well in a sieve, pressing the spinach with the back of a spoon to remove excess moisture. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, chop it coarsely. (If using baby spinach leaves, omit the chopping.)
Add the spinach, drained raisins and pine nuts to the onion and garlic in the fry pan and return to medium heat. Stir until the spinach and onion are heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 4.
2-4 salmon fillets
zest from one lemon
chopped dill, I used about 2 teaspoons of it on each fillet
freshly ground pepper (I used white pepper)
Brush the fillets lightly with olive oil and sprinkle the salt, pepper, and dill on top. Press lightly into the fish. Set aside in the fridge for about 20 minutes.
Heat a heavy skillet until very hot ( I use non-stick). Coat with a tiny bit of oil if you wish. Add the fish, non-skin side down and cook on medium hot for about 3 minutes. Flip the fillet over and cook it with the skin side down for another 3-4 minutes. You can cover the pan to help it along. Check the inside of your fillets with the tip of a knife, to make sure it isn't cooking too fast. The thickness of your fillets will determine coking time. The salmon should be done when it's still translucent in the center. Don't use the "flake test" to determine if it's done. By then, it's too late! Remove to plates and serve with the spinach.
You can, of course, broil the fillets if you prefer.