So I have a client who had a last minute request for a “lean, clean, and green” lunch for him and his wife...high in protein, low to no carbs, no carrots, BUT also something seasonal & sweet....Hmmmm well he came to the right chef! I kind of came up with this on the fly...looking for what I had at the restaurant that was fresh and in season. Here’s the result! This may SEEM like a long read but I promise it’s NOT COMPLICATED! I just wrote a lot so you can understand how to time things. But I promise this is a recipe that’ anyone can pull off!! As always enjoy and post your comments/photos! (Sorry for the photo in the “to go” box but it still looks yummy!)
I LOVE PARSNIPS!! But they can be tricky to get creamy or season just right. The trick is just a touch of honey, a little salt and some almond milk. Also, when you sear your salmon make sure you start with a really hot pan and use a clean oil that has a high smoke point (like avocado oil) so it doesn’t burn. If the salmon is stuck to the pan then it needs another minute before you try to flip it. I seared the salmon starting with skin side down first, 3-5 minutes per side and then finished for 5 minutes in a 400F oven. Lastly, it’s really easy to blanch and sauté vegetables. I used fresh broccoli rabe. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Then submerge the bunch of broccoli rabe for
NO LONGER than 2 minutes. Then immediately remove the rabe and dunk it into a bowl of ice water to stop it from cooking. Then finish it by sauteeing it for just a few minutes (in the salmon pan after you’ve put the salmon onto a pan in the oven to finish cooking...this way you get the flavor that’s already in the pan onto the rabe). Use just a little olive oil and some salt and pepper to sauté the veg and keep it simple. For the this recipe, it’s the sauce and the parsnips that pack the flavor punch! Also, I LOVE using Indonesian Sambal Oelek chili paste to add a sweet but spicy punch to my cooking. You can find that at most Asian markets or Whole Foods. Lastly, I “finished” this dish with a drizzle of roasted pumpkin seed oil. It’s got a wonderful savory, nutty flavor and you only need a touch of it. I get mine at a gourmet market. Williams Sonoma or HomeGoods sometimes has it. It’s worth it if you can find it!!
• 4-6 ounce salmon filets (with skin)
• 5-6 parsnips, peeled, cubed & boiled or steamed until soft
• 1 bunch fresh broccoli rabe
• 4 tbsp avocado oil, divided
• 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
• 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
• 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
• 1/4 tsp cinnamon
• A drizzle of roasted pumpkin seed oil
For the glaze:
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp coconut aminos
• 2-3 tsp sambal chili paste
• 1 tsp sesame oil
1. Preheat your oven to 400F.
2. Rinse the salmon filets under water and then be sure to pat them dry with a paper towel. (They will take a much better sear that way). Then season the filets with the salt, pepper, and Chinese 5 spice. Then rub the sesame seeds onto the non-skin side of the salmon. Set aside for just a few minutes.
3. Bring a small pot of water to a boil (big enough to hold the bunch of broccoli rabe). Season the water with a little salt.
4. In a food processor or blender, purée the cooked parsnips, adding the honey, almond milk and cinnamon to the mixture while blending. Once done, place the parsnips in a bowl. You may need to heat them up in the microwave for just a minute before you plate the meal.
5. In a small bowl, make the sauce. Combine the honey, sambal paste, coconut aminos and sesame oil using a whisk. Set aside.
6. In a small to medium sized frying pan, bring the avocado oil to a high heat (over a medium-high flame) until the oil is shimmering and moving quickly around the pan. Then place the salmon filets in the pan SKIN SIDE DOWN. Allow the filets to sear for 5 minutes before flipping them. Then sear the other side (with the sesame seeds) for 3-5 minutes. (Remember is they’re difficult to move or flip then they need a little more time....they’re ready to flip or remove when they’re NOT STUCK.) After the other side is seared, remove them from the pan and put them on a cookie sheet or small oven pan/sizzle plate that’s been prepared with a little clean oil or spray oil. Brush the filets with a little of the sauce. Save the rest. Set aside. DO NOT RINSE THE FRYING PAN!
7. Blanch the broccoli rabe in the boiling salted water for up to 2 minutes. Then remove and submerge in a small bowl of ice water. Then drain the rabe and pat dry. Add a little more avocado oil to the pan with some salt and pepper and place the rabe in the pan, stirring frequently to sauté, for a total of about 5-7 minutes.
8. Once you start cooking the rabe, you can finish cooking the salmon. Place the salmon on the pan into the oven for approximately 5-6 minutes. (7-10 minutes if you like well done salmon).
9. Heat up the parsnips also while you’re cooking the rabe.
10. You’re ready to plate!! Place the desired amount of parsnips onto a plate. (I kind of “threw” them onto the plate and made a small but flat mound of them dragging them with my spoon.) Place the salmon on top of the parsnips. Place the broccoli rabe next to and around the parsnips. Drizzle the leftover sauce onto the salmon, parsnips and rabe. Finish with just a drizzle of roasted pumpkin seed oil and enjoy!!