As you can surely tell, I don’t always lean toward the quickest or easiest recipes. I like spending time in the kitchen, and I especially like trying things with unusual ingredients or interesting cooking methods…or things that I think would be especially fun to tell you guys about. Or things on the ol’ bucket list!
So sometimes I end up passing over relatively simple-sounding recipes just because they don’t excite me or spark my creative juices. Which is a mistake! I’m really lucky to be in a position where I don’t have to stick to a tight grocery budget or get dinner on the table for a hungry family as quickly as possible every night. But I know that might not always be the case, so it’s always exciting when something seemingly simple and unexciting turns out to be a wow dinner.
Enter this salmon! Based on the ingredient list, I thought this looked goodnotgreat. Quick to make, decent tasting, and easy to shop for (you need salmon, basil, and parm, but you probably have everything else) — but nothing very exciting or wow. Well, I suppose you can’t judge a recipe by its ingredient list, because this was wow. No one particular thing stood out — but the salmon got perfectly crispy and delicious and seasoned, and the basil cream sauce was seriously yummy (and complemented the salmon perfectly). And the whole thing really was ready in about 25 minutes. WINNING*!
CRISPY SALMON WITH CREAMY BASIL NOODLES
(slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is)
1 pound fresh salmon, skin removed
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted (can sub with olive oil if you don’t have coconut oil – but give coconut oil a try!)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
1 tbsp unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp flour
1 and 1/4 cup skim milk
bunch of basil leaves (30 or so), chopped
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1. While you cook the pasta, preheat your oven’s broiler on its highest setting, placing the oven racks close to the broiler.
2. Brush both sides of salmon with coconut oil, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place salmon on a broiler pan, nonstick baking sheet, or a nonstick wire rack placed on a baking sheet (just don’t put it in anything glass — glass shouldn’t go under the broiler). Set under broiler and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until top appears crispy and browned. Flip the salmon and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until crispy and brown on the other side. Remove immediately. If your salmon is very thick or very thin, adjust your cook time accordingly.
3. While salmon is cooking, heat large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and garlic, cooking for 30 seconds, then whisk in flour to create a roux. Let mixture cook for another minute or so (until the butter absorbs all the flour), then slowly add milk, stirring constantly. Allow mixture to slightly thicken, then toss in the basil and parmesan, stirring to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking. Add in cooked noodles and toss to coat completely.
4. Serve immediately, placing cooked salmon on top of noodles.
Loved it! Note that this only makes enough to serve two (hungry!) people, so if you’re thinking of serving this to company (which you should! It’s so easy and elegant!), you’ll want to increase the quantities.
*Oh man, I am so sorry for that seriously outdated and obnoxious cultural reference