Pickled Rose
Food and art, mutually inspired.
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Olive Oil Basted Salmon with Citrus Salad and Lime Cilantro Quinoa

Salmon can be a tricky fish to cook, but it doesn’t have to be. One of my favorite cooking methods is poaching it slowly in olive oil. This technique is great, however it uses a crazy amount of oil, which gets pricey and wasteful. I wanted to recreate the lovely texture that poaching in olive oil gives to the fish- buttery, supple, and perfectly cooked- but without using a gallon of the stuff. Hence, the basting method. A chef-y technique often used when pan searing meat, that adds moisture and flavor to your protein of choice. Normally the fat gets added to a hot pan, but I’ve chosen to start the fish and oil in a cold pan so that they both come up to temperature together, similar to the poaching method. The result is soft, delicate salmon, that will melt in your mouth.

Perfectly cooked salmon + a crunchy citrus salad + herby, tangy quinoa = the light and refreshing meal you won’t be able to get enough of.

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Olive Oil Basted Salmon with Citrus Salad and Lime Cilantro Quinoa

Olive Oil Basted Salmon with Citrus Salad and Lime Cilantro Quinoa

Olive Oil Salmon with Citrus and Quinoa close up.jpg

Olive Oil Basted Salmon with Citrus Salad and Lime Cilantro Quinoa

Ingredients:

1 bunch of cilantro, 1/4 leaves reserved for plating

1/3 C lime juice

3/4 C olive oil + 3 Tbsp

1 pink grapefruit

1 orange (navel or cara cara work great)

2 tangerines

3 green onions, sliced

3 Persian cucumbers (seedless English cucumber will also work if you can’t find Persian)

1 fresno chili, sliced thin

1/4 tsp chili citrus salt

2 cloves garlic smashed

2 6 oz salmon filets

kosher salt

pepper

2 C cooked quinoa

aleppo pepper

In a food processor, add all but 1/4 C cilantro, lime juice, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Pulse until the cilantro is finely chopped, and the sauce emulsifies. Add 1/2 cup cilantro lime sauce to cooked quinoa and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Next, prepare the citrus. Slice the top and bottom off of each citrus fruit. Trim the peel and pith by running your knife from top to bottom, following the curvature of the fruit, being careful to not remove too much of the citrus. Trim any remaining pith that was left behind. Slice fruit into 1/4” slices, leaving some in rounds, and some cut in half. In a large bowl combine citrus, cucumber, green onion, and fresno chili, 3 Tbsp olive oil, and citrus chili salt. Toss to combine. I recommend making the citrus salad right before serving so that the cucumber remains crisp.

Prepare the fish by seasoning liberally with salt and pepper, and placing it skin side down in a cold, large non-stick frying pan, with remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil and garlic cloves. Turn heat on to medium/medium high. As the pan begins to warm, spoon olive oil continuously over the fish. Tilting the pan at a slight angle will help the oil to gather at the bottom of the pan, making it easier to spoon. Baste fish for 7-9 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it is cooked through. It should be soft, supple, and glistening. If the salmon filet is quite thick, break into the fish a bit with the spoon to get the oil inside as you baste. The fish gets broken up when you plate the dish, so don’t worry about keeping your filet intact. When the fish is done, remove from the skin and break into large chunks.

On a large plate and 1 cup of the quinoa and top with salmon pieces from one filet. Top with a few spoonfuls of citrus salad and garnish with cilantro leaves, a small pinch of citrus salt and aleppo pepper.