What’s for Dinner?
Seasoned with garlic, onions, dill and olive oil.
Olive tapenade, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nut orzo pasta.
And fresh sautéed garden asparagus.
A quick and easy dish that is balanced and scrumptious too!
Wild caught salmon is the best, both in flavor and nutrients. Having worked in the Alaskan fishing industry in my 20’s I know it’s not an easy job and am thankful to be able to stock up on quality salmon each season.
Our mountains are not quite close enough to the ocean and inlets so we stock our freezer like squirrels in the fall with all things good. That’s when I place an order with our neighbor Fran, owner of Misty Fjord Seafood who I’m pretty sure is actually Super Woman. I end up guesstimating how many filets and pieces of fish we’ll need until the next season, and if we end up with extra we have it smoked so that we can enjoy it on hikes with a little goat cheese and good bread.
If you’ve got freezer space I highly recommend stocking up. Having it on hand makes dinner a snap!
1 wild salmon fillet
3 pressed cloves of garlic
1 sliced onion
1 lemon (half sliced and half for juice)
a handful of asparagus spears
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dill weed
3 tablespoons of quark, sour cream, mayo or LEMONAISE®
3 cups of orzo
2 tablespoons olive tapenade
sun-dried tomatoes (a jar or 9-10 from your pantry chopped)
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1/2 parmesan cheese (optional)
dash of white wine for sauteing
~preheat the oven to 400f
~Defrost the fillet in its packaging (it is recommended to do so in the refrigerator but under running water has worked in a pinch. You can save the water and use it to feed your plants).
~Next prep the garlic, onions and dill sauce
~combine the quark, sour cream or mayo with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice, dill weed and mix. Omit the lemon if using LEMONAISE®
~Once defrosted place the fillet on an aluminum foil covered baking sheet for easier clean up.
~Drizzle olive oil onto the fillet, sprinkle dill weed and add slices of the onion, garlic and lemon (squeeze the slices just a bit) and cover with foil.
~Bake for 15-20 minutes checking for done-ness = when the salmon flesh turns to a light pink.
Now, prepare the orzo while the salmon is baking.
Orzo is quick and a favorite with our kids. To make it an all around hit I add a little color and flavor with sun-dried tomatoes, keeping it quick and easy I use a pre-made olive tapenade that I have on hand for easy appetizers. If you have time and can make your own I am sure you’ll be rewarded. Another crowd pleaser and healthy addition, is to add pine nuts.
Next, prep the asparagus. This is fun because it is fresh right now and in the backyard, easily gathered by the kids and they love it.
~Once the asparagus is washed, then saute it with a little white wine until tender and set the asparagus aside.
~By the time the orzo is finished, your salmon should be done as well.
~warm plates if you want
~mix the olive tapenade, sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts into the orzo and add the parmesan cheese.
~serve right away with a small dollop of dill sauce on top of the salmon.
More salmon recipes here
I love to make enough for leftovers. Extra orzo is great for lunches, add pesto to change it up or make it into a salad. It’s perfect hot or cold.
Leftover salmon is nice for morning egg scrambles, add chevre, chives and spinach for a healthy start.
If you are interested as to why I choose wild salmon over farmed raised there are a number of reasons and it is important to know why and what you are putting into your body. I don’t think we can trust that someone else will be looking out for our best interests. I feel it is important to educate oneself and spread the word on sustainable practices that benefit all. If your curiosity is piqued, then please check out the following links and make your own choice.
Why salmon is worth the fight- video
David Dobs describes the life of a wild salmon and the confusion between wild and farmed in his 2008 article in Eating Well named The Wild Salmon Debate “He [the salmon] eats with an open mind—other fish, mollusks, and lots and lots of krill and other planktonic crustacea that have feasted on red algae. This diet turns his flesh pink and rich in omega-3 fatty acids.”
Now what’s for dessert?
Rachelle @ caramelizelife
How ironic, both our posts today involve Alaska. So enjoy the depth and attention you bring to food and place. Renee
Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my post. I think quality over quantity of the post is most important. We all have so much going on in our lives that I aim to share valuable information that is helpful.
I read your post and it resonated with me. Alaska is a beautiful place I spent most of my time near Egegik. And I was there around the same time as you. My favorite theme about my experiences there were remembering to enjoy the simplest of things. You’ve done a beautiful job of writing and bring imagery to the reader.
Wow! I’d love to know why you were there… the story, the small ways it never left you? Would be great if you wanted to add some of those moments under the comment section too, but okay not. I understand! Renee