I’ll bet you were wondering why I posted nothing but that simple spice mix on Tuesday, because what do I do with a jar of mixed spices? Nah, just kidding. I know you guys are way more competent than that. What have you made (or do you plan to make) with it?
I’m all for encrusting a few chicken breasts and thighs with it and throwing it on the grill – you can’t go wrong with a classic – but if you’re looking for something a little bit more off-the-beaten-path and a little bit less requires-you-to-grill-outside-in-the-April-snow-as-though-that’s-a-totally-normal-form-of-precipitation, salmon takes remarkably well to jerk season like a fish takes to… um. (I want to say water, but really the answer here is jerk seasoning. I mean, obviously!)
Before you make a decision about this recipe, let me first address the elephant in the room: I realize this ingredient list is as long as the recipe title is eye-rollingly shmancy, but if you let either of those factors influence your decision, you’re missing out on something spectacular. Sure, you could certainly make a huge batch of this and just absolutely kill it at your next dinner party, but around here, we have had this meal a few times for dinner – and the leftovers make a really great lunch. I’ll bet you knew I was going to say that, because I always say that. Well, it’s true!
The salmon, for one, stays juicy and flavorful whether it’s right out of the oven, or has been in the fridge since last night’s dinner. I under cook mine slightly so that it is medium rare, but you can certainly leave it in the oven a little longer to get that firmer, flakier consistency (I guess you’d call it well done? I have no idea how to apply those terms to fish. Let’s just call it “cooked through” so we’re all on the same page.)
The slaw, not to be outdone, is also a rockstar when it comes to sustaining its crisp texture and fresh flavor, even over the course of a few days. I have been really enjoying eating the slaw for lunch with different protein options, so feel free to either make half of the salmon component or double the slaw. Then, to mix it up for lunch, try adding feta, cashews, edamame (if you eat soy), or sliced grilled chicken. If I were the kind of blogger that said things like “it’s a real workhorse of a recipe”, I’d say this is a real workhorse of a recipe.
And the dressing. Oh, the dressing! If you’re not as heavy handed as I am when dressing your salads, you might have some left over, and trust me, you’ll thank yourself for your parsimonious – or, in a rare case of Having Your Cake And Eating It Too, you could just make more.
So, the big secret a bout this recipe is this: what appears to be one irritatingly high maintenance recipe is actually three – well four, counting the spice mix – totally manageable recipes in disguise. And if you want in on an even bigger secret, I’ve made this entire meal multiple times on a weeknight, so it’s completely doable and not at all very high maintenance.
- 4 salmon fillets approx. 8 ounces each, before cooking, skin on
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons jerk seasoning
- 1 head of radicchio exterior leaves and core removed, thinly sliced
- 2 cups baby arugula firmly packed
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves loosely packed, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 2 cups fresh blueberries rinsed and dried
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon or lime slices or wedges
Preheat the oven to 325F. Grease a baking pan and place the salmon about 2" apart on the pan, skin side down. Sprinkle each fillet with 1/2 Tablespoon of jerk seasoning and bake for 15-20 minutes (15 for a more medium/medium-rare fillet, 20 for a more well-done fillet).
While the salmon is cooking, prepare the slaw and the dressing. For the slaw, toss together everything but the blueberries, then sprinkle the blueberries over the top. For the dressing, whisk together all of the ingredients or add them all to a small container or jar with an airtight top, close and shake vigorously.
If you're going to eat the meal immediately, toss the dressing with the slaw. If you plan to save some for leftovers, I recommend dressing each portion of slaw separately. Top a generous (dressed) portion of slaw with a salmon fillet, garnish with lemon or lime, and serve.
Yield: Four dinner portions.