Following on from my recent post “Raw Green Parsley Pesto”, I present this dish as a way to put that yummy, verdant puree of raw greens and herbs to use. This crispy skin salmon Mediterranean bowl is jammed full of superfoods and is definitely compliant with a low-carb diet. However, these ingredients haven’t been thrown together for healthy’s sake. The flavours work together harmoniously in a way that will have you dreaming of an alfresco lunch on a sun-washed terrace. Even my husband (who is automatically disdainful of anything dubbed as “healthy”) enjoyed it so much that he requested it for dinner the following night.
The dish comprises crispy-skinned salmon astride a bed of tender chickpeas and quinoa dressed in olive oil and lemon juice. Next, there are crisp, slithered green beans and sweet cherry tomatoes that have been thrown into a searing oven for a few moments. To finish, a scattering of aubergeine-hued Kalamata olives to turn up the Mediterranean vibe.
To get the perfect crispy skin salmon…
Preheat the oven, bring the fish out of the fridge, and sprinkle it with fine sea salt while preparing the other elements. When it’s time to cook the fish, dab the skin dry with kitchen paper. Get a frying pan moderately hot, and add some oil. Place the fish skin side down into the hot oil; it should crackle and sizzle. Press it down gently with your fingers to ensure the skin is contacting the pan entirely. Allow the salmon to get brown on the skin side before you flip it. This can take some time, so don’t be afraid to let it sit there. When the skin is beautiful and golden, flip the fish over and put the pan into a hot oven for 5-10 minutes (depending on thickness). The fish will be perfect when it reads at 48-50ׅ°C/120-122°F in the thickest, centre part of the fillet. Bring it out of the oven, and allow it to rest for five minutes while you assemble the plate.
If you don’t have a thermometer, the salmon is done when it is opaque, feels firmer to touch, and has some resistance when you carefully insert a metal skewer in the centre. If you see watery white juice (albumin) leaking from the fillet it is most definitely done and should be taken out of the oven.
When you bring the fish out of the oven, leave a tea towel over the pan’s handle so that you remember that it is burning hot!! Seriously, I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve given myself whole-palm burns when I haven’t done this.
Mediterranean Crispy Skin Salmon Bowl
Crispy skin salmon bowl with full-on Mediterranean flavours. Full of super foods for a delicious, nutritious lunch or dinner.
- 1/2 Recipe of Raw Green Parsley Pesto
- 1 400g Can of Cooked Chickpeas- Drained
- 1/2 Cup/90g Quinoa
- Slug of Olive Oil
- 1/2 Lemon
- 125g Green Beans - Finely sliced on an angle
- 250g (1 punnet) Mixed Cherry Tomatoes- Halved
- 10-12 Kalamata or other Black Olives -Halved (optional)
- 2 Salmon Fillets
Preheat the oven to 190°C/374°F and place a small tray into the oven to get very hot. (You will be roasting the tomatoes in this tray)
Quinoa and Chickpeas
First, rinse the quinoa and then place into a small pan with 1 cup/250ml of fresh water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring the quinoa to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for around 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and place a lid on the quinoa.
Drain the chickpeas and rinse them if they are very slimy.
Tip the chickpeas into a bowl and drizzle over a good slug of oil, and the juice from 1/2 a lemon. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Let the quinoa steam while you move onto the next step.
Green Beans and Tomatoes
Bring a pot of salted water to a rapid boil for the green beans.
Salt the tomatoes and coat with 1 tbsp of oil. Carefully remove the hot tray from the oven and quickly tip in the tomatoes. Roll them around in the hot tray and place them back in the oven whilst you cook the green beans.
Tip the sliced green beans into the pot of boiling water whilst the tomatoes cook, Allow them to boil for 2/3 minutes, until they are slightly cooked but still bright green and crunchy. Run the beans under cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside to drain.
Remove the tomatoes from the oven as soon as the beans are done, and leave to cool.
Just before serving mix the blanched green beans and roasted tomatoes together.
Season the salmon and start it, skin side down in a hot frying pan with a little oil. Fry skin side down for 8-10 Minutes on a medium-high heat until the skin is golden and crispy.
Flip the salmon skin side up and place in the hot oven for 5-10 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon.
To check the salmon is done take the temperature with an instant read digital thermometer in the thickest central part of the fillet. Aim for 48-50ׅ°C/120-122°F. Rest the salmon for five minutes while you assemble the dish. (See the above section on Salmon Cooking for more in-depth information.)
Assemble the dish
Fluff the quinoa and tip it into the chickpeas. Check for seasoning and add more to taste.
Split the pesto between two plates, top with the chickpea/quinoa mix and the green bean/tomato mix and sprinkle over the olives.
Finally top with the salmon and enjoy.