Introduction: Salmon With Fruit Salsa
Salmon fillet smothered in fruit, cooked just enough.
Step 1: Combine Salsa Ingredients
Half an onion (purple makes for good color), finely chopped
2-3 nectarines or peaches, chopped (slightly underripe is good)
2 lemons, juiced (depending on size and juiciness)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/2" fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
2 scallions, chopped
mint, parsley, cilantro finely chopped (mix and match)
freshly ground black pepper
pinch of salt
Combine ingredients and allow to macerate.
This salsa's flavor relies heavily on the nectarine/peach combination with mint. Underripe nectarines are actually preferable for this dish, as they'll stand up better when cooked and will still be tasty. Make sure not to overpower the mix with too much ginger. If you're a big ginger fan, keep reading.
Caribbean version: bananas and ginger. Swap out the peaches/nectarines for 2 slightly green bananas, and up the amount of ginger and allspice. Add a tablespoon of grated coconut if you've got some. You can use a mix of lemon and lime juice if you like. Since bananas are available year-round, this is particularly tasty in the winter. Perfect for your next Pirates of the Caribbean party.
Step 2: Smother the Salmon
Give your selected baking dish a quick spray with canola oil, then insert your salmon fillet. Squeeze half a lemon over the fillet, and let it sit until you're ready to go. (I have no pictures of this part, but I bet you can handle it.)
Spoon your fruit salsa over top of the samon, covering all exposed surfaces. I like lots of topping, so you can't actually see the salmon underneath in this picture, but adjust according to your preferences. Cover with a dusting of fresh ground pepper.
Step 3: Bake and Serve
Put your salmon into a 400F oven, and cook until the liquid at the edges has just begun sizzling. Check frequently, because overcooked salmon is a sad thing. This should take something in the range of 7-15 minutes depending on the size of your fillet. Err on the side of removing the fish early, because you can always cook it more.
Pull the salmon out and let it rest and cool for 10-15 minutes before testing and serving. The salmon will continue cooking after you pull it out of the oven, so if you check the fish before it has rested it won't look done. After resting, use a paring knife to peek at the thick part of your fillet. It should be opaque at the edges, while the center maintains a quasi-raw darker pink color; think medium-rare. Next time I'll try to take a picture of this. If the center is warm, you've done well. If you don't think it's done to your specs, toss it under the broiler for a minute or two. This will have the added bonus of toasting the salsa just a bit. Again, remember to give it time to rest and finish cooking outside of the oven before you pass final judgement.
Serve with spinach salad and other tasty fresh things. Leftovers are best eaten cold; we usually fight over them for breakfast.
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