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Roasted Salmon with Watercress Pesto, Farro Pilaf and Spinach with Garlic & Shallots

Spring 2019
F201902014.jpg
food and drink

BY: Lucy Waverman/Leslie Beck

Simple salmon quickly roasted and served with healthy sides makes a perfect main course for a special dinner. If you want a shortcut, buy a jar of arugula pesto instead of the watercress. Ask for centre-cut pieces of salmon so that they are a bit thicker and even in size.

4 pieces salmon, each 4 oz (115 g)
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tsp (20 mL) Watercress Pesto (recipe follows)
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped chives

1 Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

2 Season salmon with salt and pepper and spread each piece of salmon with 1 tsp (5 mL) Watercress Pesto. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until still slightly pink in the centre.

3 Serve on top of Farro Pilaf and surround with spinach (recipes follow).

4 Sprinkle chives over each plate.

Serves 4

FARRO PILAF

Farro, an ancient grain, like barley, comes in different forms. It is a healthy alternative to rice and pasta. Look for semi-pearled farro, which has some of the outer husk removed. This dish reheats well.

1 cup (250 mL) farro
1 tsp (5 mL) butter
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme
½ cup (125 mL) vegetable or chicken stock or water
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp (30 mL) Watercress Pesto (recipe follows)
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 Bring a large pot of water to boil. Sprinkle in farro and bring to boil. Boil farro until just tender but still slightly chewy, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.

2 When ready to serve, heat butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add farro, thyme and stock, reduce heat to low, cover pan and steam for 10 minutes or until grains are al dente and liquid is absorbed. Scatter with mint and stir in the Watercress Pesto. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat when needed.

Serves 4


SPINACH WITH GARLIC & SHALLOTS

If you can find real bunches of spinach they do have more taste than the packages of baby spinach. If you use the packages you will need two. Use chopped red onion if shallots are not available.

1 lb (455 g) fresh spinach, washed
1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped shallots
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ tsp (2 mL) lemon juice

1 Place washed spinach, with the water still clinging to the leaves, in a pot. Cover pot and turn heat up to medium. Let spinach steam in the pot until wilted, about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.

2 Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until limp, about 1 to 2 minutes.

3 Add spinach to pan and sauté with shallots and garlic until hot. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice.

WATERCRESS PESTO

This mixture of watercress and arugula makes a spicy pesto. Use in both the salmon and farro recipes.

2 cups (500 mL) packed watercress leaves
1 cup (250 mL) packed arugula leaves
½ tsp (2 mL) chopped garlic
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Place watercress leaves, arugula leaves, garlic, water, Parmesan and oil in a food processor or blender. Process until leaves are finely chopped. Stir in lemon juice to taste and season with salt and pepper. If the mixture is too thick, thin with some more water.

Makes ⅔ cup (150 mL) pesto

Serves 4

What to Serve

F201902014.jpg
food and drink

Roasted Salmon with Watercress Pesto, Farro Pilaf and Spinach with Garlic & Shallots

Spring 2019

BY: Lucy Waverman/Leslie Beck

Simple salmon quickly roasted and served with healthy sides makes a perfect main course for a special dinner. If you want a shortcut, buy a jar of arugula pesto instead of the watercress. Ask for centre-cut pieces of salmon so that they are a bit thicker and even in size.

4 pieces salmon, each 4 oz (115 g)
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 tsp (20 mL) Watercress Pesto (recipe follows)
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped chives

1 Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

2 Season salmon with salt and pepper and spread each piece of salmon with 1 tsp (5 mL) Watercress Pesto. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until still slightly pink in the centre.

3 Serve on top of Farro Pilaf and surround with spinach (recipes follow).

4 Sprinkle chives over each plate.

Serves 4

FARRO PILAF

Farro, an ancient grain, like barley, comes in different forms. It is a healthy alternative to rice and pasta. Look for semi-pearled farro, which has some of the outer husk removed. This dish reheats well.

1 cup (250 mL) farro
1 tsp (5 mL) butter
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh thyme
½ cup (125 mL) vegetable or chicken stock or water
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh mint
2 tbsp (30 mL) Watercress Pesto (recipe follows)
½ tsp (2 mL) salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 Bring a large pot of water to boil. Sprinkle in farro and bring to boil. Boil farro until just tender but still slightly chewy, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain.

2 When ready to serve, heat butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add farro, thyme and stock, reduce heat to low, cover pan and steam for 10 minutes or until grains are al dente and liquid is absorbed. Scatter with mint and stir in the Watercress Pesto. Season with salt and pepper. Reheat when needed.

Serves 4


SPINACH WITH GARLIC & SHALLOTS

If you can find real bunches of spinach they do have more taste than the packages of baby spinach. If you use the packages you will need two. Use chopped red onion if shallots are not available.

1 lb (455 g) fresh spinach, washed
1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped shallots
2 tsp (10 mL) chopped garlic
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
½ tsp (2 mL) lemon juice

1 Place washed spinach, with the water still clinging to the leaves, in a pot. Cover pot and turn heat up to medium. Let spinach steam in the pot until wilted, about 5 minutes, tossing occasionally.

2 Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until limp, about 1 to 2 minutes.

3 Add spinach to pan and sauté with shallots and garlic until hot. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice.

WATERCRESS PESTO

This mixture of watercress and arugula makes a spicy pesto. Use in both the salmon and farro recipes.

2 cups (500 mL) packed watercress leaves
1 cup (250 mL) packed arugula leaves
½ tsp (2 mL) chopped garlic
2 tbsp (30 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt and freshly ground pepper

1 Place watercress leaves, arugula leaves, garlic, water, Parmesan and oil in a food processor or blender. Process until leaves are finely chopped. Stir in lemon juice to taste and season with salt and pepper. If the mixture is too thick, thin with some more water.

Makes ⅔ cup (150 mL) pesto

Serves 4

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