With the holidays in the way, and all the “only-on-Christmas” food we’ve been consuming lately, we forgot just how much we love our salmon. Yes, we have posted on salmon before, but that was almost a month ago, so I’m pretty sure the blog etiquette will allow it! Today, after our morning workout and gardening session, we thought we would give our freshly-worked muscles an extra boost with a nice little protein filled dish…with veggies on the side, of course!
I’ve already told you how much we love to cook, but what I haven’t told you is that there is something [or someone] that we love even more. Say hello to Jamie Oliver. While I was learning to cook [and while my sister was trying to brainwash me into becoming a foodie -at which she succeeded in every way, shape and form-] the one question that was most often heard flying around the house without a shadow of a doubt was, “how did Jamie do it?” And that wasn’t a hard one to answer either, seeing as we own pretty much every cookbook he has published…ever! Wife and kids aside, the fact that he is young, attractive, British, oh! and literally obsessed with Italian food has inevitably made us love him even more! We’ve seen him cook on his cooking shows, we’ve watched him take over on MasterChef Australia (of course!!) just by entering the room, and we’ve tried cooking an innumerable amount of his recipes.
So today, flipping through the good old ‘Cook with Jamie’ we found this classic salmon dish, with a side of broccoli. But like always, there’s a nice little twist to it. Nothing major. Like Jamie always says, the best flavours are the natural flavours!
INGREDIENTS (serves 4)
4 x 200g salmon fillets, pinboned
500g sicilian broccoli heads
Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper for seasoning
For the rosemary sauce:
a spring of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and chopped
1 Lemon, juiced
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Preheat your oven to 200˚C and get prepping. Cut your broccoli florets in half (we find that to be the perfect bite size). Make sure they are all cut equally so that they cook evenly. It’s never nice to bite into a raw broccoli head, or a soggy one for that matter! If the fish monger didn’t already do it for you, pinbone your salmon fillets. This is not necessary, but it makes eating it later a lot easier, and risk-free.
Start on your anchovy sauce. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the rosemary until you reach a paste-like consistency, and then add the anchovies until the paste becomes a dark green color. Add the lemon juice to the paste, 3-4 table spoons of olive oil, some pepper, and mix it all together until you get an oil that can be nicely drizzled over your final dish.
Brush some olive oil on both sides of the salmon fillets, season them with salt and pepper and place them on a heated, non-stick oven-proof pan, skin-side down, for about 2 minutes. Flip them over, and place the pan in the preheated oven for another 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
When your salmon is in the oven, place your broccoli in a pressure cooker and steam for 2 minutes (Jamie boils his broccoli, but we prefer to steam them), or until they are cooked to your liking. Personally, I like them cooked through, but with a bit of crunch left in the stem. Drain them and toss them in your rosemary-anchovy sauce.
Side note: Vitamins are sensitive to heat and air exposure, so when vegetables are boiled in an uncovered pan, a lot of the vitamins are actually evaporating. In addition, many vitamins are also water soluble, so what is left of the nutrients will end up being drained out with the excess water. Steaming vegetables allows them to retain more nutrients because of the shorter cooking time, lower temperature and amount of water used.
Check on your salmon. To see whether it is cooked through, you can gently squeeze the sides of the fillet. It should be firm but still spring back slightly. If you’re still not sure, separate the fillet in the middle. As salmon cooks, it changes from a translucent orangey color to an opaque pale pink. What you’re looking for is a slightly more opaque orangey pink color. If you manage to ‘just’ cook your fish, you will get to eat a soft, fleshy fillet with a crispy outer layer. Heavenly!
Divide the broccoli between the plates and place a salmon fillet over each pile. Drizzle with what’s left of the sauce, and voila!!
You may have noticed the nice little touch added by the lilac rosemary flowers. Not only are they edible, and remind us of the rosemary in the sauce, but they also have a great meaning (remember The Language of Flowers?): fidelity, loyalty…precisely our feeling towards salmon…and Jamie, of course!!