3rd Course: Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Salmon-RRPepper Sauce w OrzoThis is my third installment of the celebration menu I prepared for my son Dan when he stopped for a visit a week ago, on his way from studying a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Science at the University of Colorado in Fort Collins to entering the College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University in Pomona, California. So exciting!

Both this salmon recipe and the first course – Tuna Ceviche – were his special requests. I added in the Mushroom Sausage Crostini (in my last post), which was inspired by a stuffed mushroom recipe I have in my blue binder … and you’ll have to check back in to see what the final course is … plus, I’ll reveal my theme ingredient just in case you haven’t figured it out yet.

I love the recipe I’m sharing with you today – a great find from Cooking Light, October 2011, and a great food magazine. Its pages have inspired a lot of cooking in my kitchen! This is Plynn’s version of the original recipe:

3rd Course: Salmon with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

1 ½ lbs. (approximately) of salmon, cut into 4 equal portions
Kosher salt, garlic powder, onion powder
Cooking spray
1/3 cup loosely chopped bottled roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained
1 T tomato paste
1 t extra-virgin olive oil
7 whole blanched almonds, coarsely chopped
1 clove of garlic, coarsely chopped

Heat grill or frying pan over medium-high heat. Lightly sprinkle fish with salt, garlic and onion powders. Coat pan with cooking spray; place fish skin-side down in pan and cook for 4 minutes (or so); turn pieces over and finish cooking to desired degree of doneness.

While fish is cooking (or prior to cooking fish) combine remaining ingredients, plus nice a dash or two of salt, in a food processor or blender, and process until smooth.

Serve sauce over the fish with the following accompaniment:

Herbed Orzo

1 cup orzo pasta
Large pot of water, salt added (approximately 1 tablespoon)
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped herbs: parsley, cilantro, oregano, thyme, chives and 1 leaf each of sage and basil. *
Pasta water or white wine

Cook orzo according to directions, then drain, reserving ½ cup of cooking water if you want to use it rather than white wine.

In a frying pan heat butter and olive oil on medium setting. Add garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Lower heat; add pasta and toss; add herbs and toss. Add a touch of pasta water or white wine and heat through. Serve.

Note: *All of these herbs are in my garden, so why not use them? In this case, I added only single leaves of fresh sage and basil as they have strong flavors, and I didn’t want them to overpower the others. Anyway, you can choose one or any combination to season the pasta. It’s all good.

The herbed orzo is a perfect companion to the flavors of the fish and sauce. Both recipes are fast and easy but taste like you’ve spent hours preparing them. So, this is a great dish to serve company … and also … if salmon isn’t your thing, use the sauce with halibut, tilapia … or I bet it would be terrific with grilled shrimp, too … hum … there’s an idea!

Just one more note – if you don’t keep a bottle of roasted red peppers on hand at all times, you should. This is one, very tasty ingredient that adds a gourmet flare to any dish.

Consider … chicken or turkey, goat cheese and a layer of peppers on whole grain bread … or strips of peppers in a green salad … or feta, chopped peppers and kalamata olives on crostini … Oh! That reminds me that I have The-Most-Delicious Basque Chicken recipe, featuring roasted red peppers – Note to self, “Share this recipe soon!”

Anyway, the roasted red pepper sauce in the recipe I’ve shared today is amazing and could accompany a number of dishes, so use your imagination!

Have you figured out my theme ingredient yet? Let me know.

Eat well. Be happy.

Author: Plynn Gutman

Plynn Gutman is a certified coach with a refreshing and holistic approach to achieving an Integrated Life. Specialized retreats, workshops and classes are all a part of Plynn’s wide array of resources that she offers along with useful life lessons, tips and advice through her blog. A writer at heart, with several titles available, Plynn's variety of work appeals to everyone.

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