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  • Writer's pictureThe Crooked Ladle

Mediterranean Salmon Bowl - Heart Healthy with an Orzo Foundation

SALMON MEDITERRANEAN BOWL...No Need to Live on the Banks of the Aegean Sea to Enjoy this Healthy All-in-One Meal



Salmon Mediterranean Bowl


I created this hearty dish because I enjoy the married ingredients so much and I believe they deliver such a great balance when co-mingled. What's more, every ingredient is considered Mediterranean (except for the salt). After my husband's first couple bites, he volunteered that this was a definite "do-again," which I'll accept as a super win. Another win to this recipe is that Mediterranean food on a whole is considered heart healthy. That said, in the end, this salmon bowl recipe has an abundance of fresh ingredients and is wonderfully delicious.


Serves: 2


Prep Time: 35 minutes


Cook Time: Approx. 30 minutes (baking salmon and cooking pasta at the same time)


Suggested Tools:

· Large skillet

. 2 two-quart pot

. Baking dish at least 9 x 9 inches

. Small skillet

. Cutting board

. Colander

. Measuring cups

. Measuring spoons

. Chopping/slicing knife

. Pastry brush

. Aluminum foil


Ingredients:


. 2 salmon filets medium size (skin on one side is okay)

. 3 cups cooked orzo or rice of your choice (Using orzo in this version)

. 1 medium avocado, peeled and cut into chunks

. ½ cup red onion chopped well

. 1 cup fresh spinach or Swiss chard, chopped well

. ½ cup basil pesto (homemade is best but jarred is okay too)


For my homemade version recipe of Basil Pesto, click here


. ¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped well (either the dry pack or marinated in the jar)

. ¼ cup pine nuts, roasted

. ½ teaspoon garlic powder

. 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

. 1 teaspoon salt plus additional salt for seasoning the salmon

Instructions:


Preheat oven to 375-degrees


1. First prepare the onion, spinach or Swiss chard (greens) and sun dried tomatoes by chopping per the ingredient notes above and set all aside.


2. Gently toast the pine nuts on the stove top by adding them in a single layer in a small dry pan. Place on medium-low heat and move around with a spoon to brown lightly. Watch the nuts carefully during the cook as they burn easily. In fact, remove them from the pan when they are browned so they don't continue to cook further. Set aside for later use.


3. Peel and cube the avocado, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.


4. Fill 2-quart pot with enough water to cover your greens when they are pressed down with a spoon and bring to a boil. Add the greens to the boiling water and then turn the heat down to a soft boil and cook about five minutes. Place a colander in the sink and pour the greens into the colander draining out the water. Let the greens rest until it's time to add them to the cooked orzo.



5. Line a baking dish that is at least 9 x 9 inches with aluminum foil. Place the salmon with skin side down in the dish and with a pastry brush, brush the top of the salmon with extra virgin olive oil. Season the tops of the salmon with salt. Place the dish into a preheated 375-degree oven. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the salmon is at your desired doneness. [No need to turn the salmon during the baking process].


How to know when the salmon is done: The length of time for salmon to cook depends on its thickness and your desired doneness. You can use a temperature probe and for a medium-rare to medium, shoot for 125˚F to 135˚F. Though, I usually just eye-ball its appearance and if it is light pink (lighter than when it was raw) with sometimes a white film (this is just the coagulated protein and perfectly okay to eat), it is likely done. As an added check, then take a fork or knife and cut a slit in the center to take a peek inside. If it is still a light pink it is cooked through. As a general rule, there is little risk to eating under cooked salmon. It is just a matter of how you like your salmon cooked. So, I hope the above parameters help you out.


6. Meanwhile in a two quart pot, cook enough of the orzo according to the package to achieve at least three cups of cooked orzo. Once cooked, drain the orzo well in a colander.


7. Return the orzo to its pot and first add one teaspoon olive oil and mix well. Then add the salt, garlic powder, pesto, onions, greens, and sun-dried tomatoes. Heat for about 5-8 minutes on medium-low heat just to warm the added ingredients.


8. Divide and place half of the orzo mixture into each large individual serving bowl.

Place the salmon steaks into each bowl on top of the orzo mixture.


9. Scatter the avocado chunks on top of bowl ingredients.


10. Sprinkle the roasted pine nuts over all.


Recommend serving with a glass of wine - yes, it is Mediterrean too - Enjoy!




The Crooked Ladle


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