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Recipe: Salmon a superstar at home

Salmon makes a stellar weeknight meal. The fillets are easy to prepare and quick to cook, making them the perfect protein for an easy dinner. And salmon can take on many flavors, which explains its versatility and mass appeal.

Choose king salmon for rich buttery flavor. For something leaner that still has big flavor, try sockeye. Coho is your pick for a milder tasting fish.

Pick either of these recipes and you’ll have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.

MISO RICE adds a fragrant, earthy pairing for silky, fatty salmon. The sweet-salty miso is whisked into the rice water before cooking, making the rice super savory, nutty and sticky.

Adapt the recipe to what you have on hand. No cabbage? Use whichever vegetable or greens you have: Carrots, celery, mushrooms, avocado and spinach are all great options. Out of ginger and scallions? Add a little garlic, red-pepper flakes or sesame seeds.

The zesty vinaigrette brightens anything you put it on, so incorporate it into your weeknight rotation. Double it, and keep it in the fridge for up to a week to spoon over greens, beans, eggs and pasta.

ROASTED SALMON WITH MISO RICE

  • 1/4 cup white or sweet miso
  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • 1-1/2 cups basmati or other long-grain rice
  • 4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups finely shredded cabbage, such as green head cabbage, won bok or savoy (about 8 ounces)
  • Roasted sesame oil, for serving
  • >> Ginger vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium saucepan, dissolve miso in water. Stir in rice and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork.

Place salmon on rimmed baking sheet and rub all over with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and arrange skin side up. Roast until fish is just opaque and cooked to medium, 8 to 10 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients.

Place miso rice and cabbage in bowls. Top with salmon, vinaigrette and sesame oil. Garnish with more scallions if desired. Serves 4.

THIS SALMON is roasted low and slow, lower and slower than you have patience for, but I strongly believe it’s the best way to cook salmon. The low temperature allows the stripes of fat to melt without overcooking, resulting in an evenly textured, extremely silky piece of fish. It also allows the flavors of the dressing to get to know one another.

Once out of the oven, the salmon is broken up at your discretion and served however you like. This time of year, I like to serve it on top of crunchy lettuces.

SALMON WITH WHOLE LEMON DRESSING

  • 1-1/2 pounds skin-on salmon fillet (skinless is fine in a pinch)
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn into large pieces
  • 2 cucumbers or radishes, or both, sliced, for serving
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • >> Dressing:
  • 2 lemons, seeds removed, peel, pith and fruit finely chopped
  • 1 small shallot or garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 3 oregano, marjoram or thyme sprigs, leaves stripped, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Heat oven to 325 degrees.

>> To make dressing: In a small bowl, combine lemon, shallot, oregano and vinegar with salt and pepper; whisk in olive oil. Set aside.

Season salmon on both sides with salt and pepper. Place skin-side down in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish (or other 2-quart equivalent). Spoon half of dressing over salmon; drizzle with more olive oil.

Roast until salmon is just cooked through but still orange-pink in the thickest parts, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness.

Serve over lettuce leaves on a platter, leaving skin in baking dish. Spoon remaining dressing over salmon. Serve alongside cucumbers or radishes, or both, for crunch. Drizzle with more olive oil if desired. Serve 4.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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