THE WEEK IN REVIEW---CLICK ON A TITLE TO GO TO THE POST
Monday, July 11, 2011
Salmon, citrus and day lilies
I returned home to a front yard full of day lilies in a luscious array of sunny colors from lemon yellow, to blood orange, and every peach, salmon, and melon shade in between.
The nice thing about day lilies is that you don't have to feel guilty picking them since they only last the day. Dinner is inspired by these gorgeous hues that are now filling my kitchen. I cook a lot with salmon, mostly because the whole family likes it, and it's so healthy. But I hate the idea of a boring plate of broiled fish with a side of broccoli. One of my favorite alternative uses for salmon is in pastas. I make variations of this Whole Wheat Pasta with Salmon, Asparagus and Lemon all year round. In colder weather I just add cream to the sauce and sometimes use peas instead of asparagus. This time I was inspired to use whole wheat pasta by Mary from One Perfect Bite. I haven't used it in a while, but I think its earthy texture complements the summery flavors here. I like Barilla whole wheat thin spaghetti; the thin size counteracts any heaviness that whole wheat pastas sometimes have. This dish is light and delicately flavored. I'm also making a simple side salad of shaved fennel and citrus. Delicious, healthy and all in celebration of the warm side of the spectrum.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Salmon, Asparagus and Lemon
3/4 lb thin whole wheat spaghetti, cooked al dente* 3/4 lb cooked salmon 1 bunch of early asparagus, cut in inch size pieces Juice and zest of 1 lemon 1/2 cup olive oil 1/2 cup chopped parsley freshly grated romano cheese salt and pepper
If you aren't using leftover salmon, then put the fish into a pan and barely cover with water. Bring to a boil, cook gently for a minute or so,and then turn off the heat, cover the pan, and let sit until cooked through. This only takes about 15 minutes. If you're in a rush, just simmer the fish gently for about 5 minutes. Cool slightly and then break the salmon into large chunks. The fish will break down further when you stir the pasta together.
Cook the pasta till just al dente, and add the asparagus to the pot for the last minute or so of cooking.
Put the olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and salmon chunks in a pan and heat through. Add the cooked pasta and asparagus and toss well, adding the parsley and cheese. Check the seasoning and serve right away.
For the Fennel and Citrus Salad:
1 medium bulb of fennel, halved and sliced paper thin 1 red or pink grapefruit, sectioned 1 large navel orange, sectioned 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces **
Squeeze the juice from the center pulp left from sectioning the grapefruit and orange into a small blender or food processor. Add in a squeeze of lemon, 2 tsp of dijon mustard, 1 tsp of honey, and salt.
With the machine running, drizzle in walnut oil (or olive oil) slowly until emulsified. Taste test to judge how much oil you will need. Add in a little vinegar if it's not tartenough, more honey if it's not sweet enough. Pour into a small jar and set aside.
Arrange the fennel on a plate, and top with the citrus sections. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts, and drizzle the dressing over the top.
* I find that when I'm cooking for four, a full pound of pasta is just too much. ** Toast nuts by heating in a dry frying pan over medium heat. Toss them often, until they begin to brown. The more you toast them the more flavor you will get, but be careful because they can burn.
Sue/the view from great island