Salmon makes for healthy, delicious Valentine’s dinner

Salmon makes for healthy, delicious Valentine’s dinner

Salmon makes for healthy, delicious Valentine’s dinner

Linda Hoffman
Published 8:06 a.m. MT Feb. 6, 2018

Food columnist Linda Hoffman shares her weekly recipes column for the Coloradoan

The Indoor Market at Opera Galleria is a treasure trove of artisan food from pastured meats and organic vegetables to handcrafted gift items such as jewelry, woodworking, and handcrafted sweets, even adorable dog treats. Like the summer markets, it’s a gathering place and celebration for “locavores.”

Open this Saturday the 10th from 9-1, it doubtless will hold gifts and goodies appropriate for Valentine’s Day.

Many look forward to a romantic dinner out and a night off from kitchen duty. On the off chance that it’s not an option this year, a special dinner can still be had with less effort than might be imagined. A variety of entrée options are available at the Indoor Market, from pastured beef and bison to wild Alaskan salmon. Simple baked potatoes and asparagus, plus a green salad with sliced pears and toasted pecans can round out the menu.

Asparagus available in the grocery produce section is probably rushing the season but can be excused in honor of Valentine’s Day. I prefer the thick, meaty spears over the spindly stalks that are actually the late season crop. To insure tenderness, simply peel the stalk to remove the tough outer skin. Asparagus can be prepped ahead, blanched quickly in boiling water, then reheated in a little pastured butter right before serving.

Nut-Crusted Salmon

4 (5-6 oz) sockeye fillet

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Sea salt

½ cup walnuts

3 green onions, trimmed and rough chopped

½ cup fresh dill, rough chopped

2 tbsp avocado or almond oil

Place the walnuts, green onions, and a pinch of sea salt in a food processor and process on high to a coarse bread crumb consistency.  Add the dill and pulse to combine.  Spread on a plate and set aside. 

Season each fillet with a pinch of sea salt, and spread 1 tsp mustard over each.  Lay the mustard side down into the breading mixture to coat evenly.

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet until very hot but not smoking.  Lay the fish into the pan crust side down, and cook 4 minutes until browned and crisp.  Turn the fillets and cook another 3-4 minutes, or until done to your liking. Remember that fish cooks 10 minutes total per inch of thickness.

If you like, serve with a dill sauce: ½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise, pinch sea salt, 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill, 1 tbsp organic sweet pickle relish, 1 finely chopped green onion, squeeze of fresh lemon.

Another option is a small bison steak called a “Bauvette” that is reasonably priced and absolutely delicious.  If this interests you, arrive right at 9 am or the limited quantities will be gone. 

Remove any membrane on the surface with a sharp knife, season with salt and maybe a sprinkle of garlic powder, and cook to your liking on a grill or indoors in a grill pan.  The key is to slice these little steaks across the grain thinly to serve, letting guests help themselves.

Bon appétit!

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