04 February 2014

Roasted Salmon with Kale Mushroom Couscous & Sun-dried Tomato Relish

Let's revisit that divine Sun-Dried Tomato Relish I posted a few days back.  I'm still loving this stuff on toast with cream cheese on a daily basis, but this snack is no proper dinner (lazy, yes...sound nutritional value, no).  I've been having quite a fun and tasty time trying this relish with pasta, grilled vegetables and hot dogs (had to be done).  After all, relish can be put on anything...including salmon.

I love roasted salmon in the winter.  The sight of it sizzling in the oven serves as a reminder that we are only a few short months away from cedar planks on the barbecue and that delicious flavor of smoke-infused fish....(seriously kind of upset with Punxsutawney Phil right now).  But with the barbecue out for the season, you can still create a perfect indoor salmon entrée with a bit of minced garlic, fresh cracked pepper and a squeeze of lemon.  It's wonderfully healthy protein source, full of omega-3's, amino acids and vitamins.  And with Old Man Winter working extra hard this year, a healthy pick-me-up is always appreciated.

Taking inspiration from the relish, I decided to serve the salmon over one of our favorite homemade couscous recipes.  Made with instant whole grain couscous, this 10-minute dish is a frequent visitor to our dinner table.  Riddled with grilled mushrooms, kale and chopped sun-dried tomatoes, this side is killer with pine nuts and goat cheese.  It also happens to be spectacular topped with grilled or roasted salmon.  The juices of the fish seep down into the couscous, lend those little granules their fabulous flavor (I love a good partnership).  With the rich salmon and intensely flavorful relish, we forwent the cheese and nuts altogether without missing any flavor.

BTW, did I mention this is a 20 minute meal?  Hello, fabulous weeknight meal.  Consider this my gift to all you snowed-in Midwesterners.

The recipe is for four, but half can be saved and reheated later very easily.  Just add a bit of water when you reheat the couscous and you'll find yourself enjoying this as much the second time around as the first.  In fact, that's what I'm off to do right now.....

Roasted Salmon with Kale Mushroom Couscous & Sun-Dried Tomato Relish (4 servings)

For the salmon:
  • 1 fillet/side salmon, skin on
  • 1 tbs garlic infused olive oil (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • sprinkle of salt
  • 4 tbs Sun-Dried Tomato Relish
For the couscous:
  • 6 oz (1 box) instant couscous (we like whole grain)
  • a few dashes of your favorite seasonings (garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, etc.) 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 c mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 c kale, chopped
  • 1/4 c sun-dried tomatoes, cut into strips
  • pine nuts (optional)
  • goat cheese (optional)

Fill a medium pot with 1 cup of water and 1-2 tbs of garlic infused olive oil (optional).  Season the water and place over high heat to bring to a boil.  When the water is boiling, remove the pot from the  heat and stir in the couscous.  Cover and let sit for at least 5 minutes.

While your water is boiling, place a medium pan over medium-high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the mushrooms and kale.  Season with salt and pepper, then cook until the vegetables are fragrant, tender and browned.  Reduce heat to low to keep warm while you wait for the couscous to finish.  Stir into the couscous with the sun-dried tomatoes.  Cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

Line a baking sheet with tin foil and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Drizzle the fish with olive oil (if using) then sprinkle with the minced garlic, pepper and salt*.  Place the fish in the oven and roast for 10-12 minutes, until the fish is flakey.  Transfer to a cutting board, cut into four pieces and remove the skin.

To serve, scoop one cup of couscous onto a plate.  Top with a slice of salmon and a tablespoon of the relish.  Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and pine nuts, if desired.

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