i know we just talked about salmon so for those of you who aren’t into salmon, um, sorry. can i interest you in a delicious, life-changing-isn’t-hyperbole soup? for the rest of you, the ones who like salmon, thanks for letting me pretend to be one of you.
you see, what you may notice with the recent asian salmon burgers and this smoky sheet pan salmon and vegetables is that we’re not exactly just savoring the bold flavor of fresh caught salmon, maybe with just a light spritz of lemon wedge, or however they would write it up on a fancypants menu at a place where they charge $38 for a 3 oz. little nibblet of salmon.
no. no on so many levels. first, we’re dumping lots of other flavors in here so that we can eat something that we know is healthy but don’t super love on taste merits alone (sorry salmon).
second, i’m not paying $38 for anything, unless it’s the better part of a week’s worth of groceries (there are only two of us…). frozen salmon for the win!
and lastly, anytime we can throw all of our food on one pan and clean the kitchen while dinner cooks itself in the oven, i’m in (provided “anytime” actually means “anytime the meal in question does not contain any red meat, non-ground up pork, or seafood”… on an unrelated note, i prefer to describe my eating preferences as “discerning”, rather than “picky”, thank you.).
and finally, as a total bonus, this recipe yields what i referred to earlier this evening during dinner as “kale confetti”.
basically, you throw the kale on the pan with everything else and while the rest of the ingredients are merely cooking, the kale is being crammed full of microscopic magic molecules so that when you pop a piece of roasted kale in your mouth, it is so crisp that it shatters into a million little flavor dusts of yum. it’s as if there’s a party in your mouth and kale is serving as confetti you won’t have to vacuum up later.
and really, what more could you want out of dinner?
smoky sheet pan salmon and vegetables
- 1 lb. (16 oz. / 454 g.) fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika, see notes
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 12 oz. (340 g.) green beans, ends trimmed and beans cut in half
- 3 oz. (85 g. / 2 cups) chopped kale, thick stems discarded
- (4) 6 oz. (170 g.) salmon fillets, see notes
- place a rack on the highest shelf of the oven and preheat to 425° F. toss potatoes with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. bake until the potatoes are beginning to brown on the bottom but are not cooked all the way through yet, about 12 – 15 minutes.
- while the potatoes are roasting, combine the remaining oil, vinegar, smoked paprika, mustard, garlic, and shallot in a glass jar with a lid. shake to combine. set aside.
- in a large bowl, toss the green beans, kale, and mostly cooked potatoes with about 1/3 of the dressing. spread the vegetables and potatoes out on the baking sheet. nestle the salmon fillets skin side down on the baking sheet. use a spoon to drizzle another 1/3 of the dressing over the salmon, being careful not to touch the fish with the spoon and then stick the spoon back in the dressing (the dressing does not get cooked so we don’t want to contaminate it with raw fish). reserve the remaining dressing and stick the pan back in the oven.
- roast everything until the salmon registers 140° F or until the salmon flakes easily and is opaque throughout, about 10 – 13 minutes. remove from the oven and drizzle the remaining dressing over the fish and vegetables, then serve immediately.
smoked paprika provides a lot of the flavor for this dish. it’s like the smokiness of chipotle without the spiciness. i recommend trying to find it. i reach for my jar of it frequently (think mexican food, eggs, avocado toast, grilled cheese…). if you can’t find it, a lesser quantity of ground chipotle powder – perhaps ½ teaspoon? – could be used. i wouldn’t bother substituting in regular paprika, as it doesn’t contribute much flavor.
i always buy frozen salmon and then follow the defrosting instructions on the package the night before i want to use it. i’ve never been able to find frozen salmon that is skinless on both sides. i’ve learned that the salmon is much easier to remove from the skin once it’s cooked so i just cook it skin side down and when i get really lucky, the skin actually sticks to the foil/pan i cook it on and i can leave it behind when i serve the fish. otherwise, the fish separates from the skin easily with just my fork as i’m eating.
adapted from sheet-pan salmon and vegetables with smoky caper vinaigrette in the september – october 2016 issue of hannaford’s fresh magazine.
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