Believe it or not, once upon a time, I would not even look at a piece of salmon. The only fish I would consider was an occasional piece of flounder, which is very white and very mild. Salmon, being very orange, was completely foreign to me. I had tried it a couple times at restaurants, obviously inappropriately prepared, and found it to be…well…”fishy”. After meeting Webster, who ingested salmon five times a week (prepared the same way each time, if you can imagine), I decided that if this relationship was to progress, I needed to expand my culinary skills to include the preparation of this orange flesh of the sea and to encourage my taste buds to not only accept it, but fall head over heels for it. So, for the past 8 years, I’ve researched the URLs of the worldwide web; I’ve combed the shelves of the cookbook isle at Barnes & Noble; and, I’ve scanned the magazine rack at the checkout counters, all to find any additional methods of cooking salmon. You see, I need variety. At The Kitchen Island, we usually do not experience the same meal twice in one month. So, during my search, I held out for the unusual; the flavorful; the one-of-a-kind recipe. Remember, I’m looking for that taste bud happy dance! Boy, did I find it with this one. This recipe did not originate as a salmon dish. It’s actually the marrying of two souls…much like Webster and me. He loves salmon and I LOVE Brussels sprouts! Hence, Pan Seared Salmon with Brussels Sprouts & Walnuts…a healthy taste bud explosion!
Just a note to all those anchovy haters out there…give the anchovies a try just this once. They are minced (so practically invisible) and they add a depth of flavor to the dish. Combined with the mustard and capers, their original flavor disappears and a new character evolves! A Votre Sante!
Salmon – Pan Seared with Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts
2 Salmon fillets, skin on
3 tbsp Olive oil
1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered
1/4 cup walnuts
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp grainy mustard
1 tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
3 anchovies, minced
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, toss the Brussels sprouts with a few tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the Brussels sprouts on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until tender and charred in spots; shift the pans halfway through roasting.
2. When the sprouts are about 10 minutes from being cooked, start your salmon by seasoning with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the salmon fillets to the pan with the skin side up. Cook for about 5 minutes the flip over and cook for another 5 minutes or until done. The salmon will flake easily when done and the interior of the fish will be a lighter color than what it was when it was raw. Do not overcook it. Remove salmon from pan and keep warm.
3. Spread the walnuts in a pie plate and place in the oven with your brussels sprouts. Toast for about 8 minutes, until golden. Let cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.
4. In the large bowl, whisk the vinegar with the mustard. Whisk in two tablespoons of olive oil until emulsified.
Add the capers, garlic, and anchovies; season with salt (just a bit; the anchovies tend to be a tad salty) and pepper.
Add the Brussels sprouts and walnuts and toss well.
5. Place a salmon fillet in the center of a plate. Spread the Brussels sprouts mixture over the center portion of the fillet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
6. Serve & Enjoy!