This is a recipe I make pretty much every week, because it’s a tasty and healthy meal. I love the crunch factor, especially with fish dishes. Salmon is the protagonist here, that fish is an omega-3 bomb so I try to eat lots of it. Furthermore, it doesn’t contain high mercury levels, unlike tuna or other big sea fish, so it’s a pretty good fish to crave every week.
I happen to live close to a nice market, where they offer the best of fish quality. I usually buy the middle part of the salmon, which is a mix of meat and fat, whereas the tail is mostly meat but I like the height of the middle part. The cooking time will vary depending on which part of fish you use, but this middle part is about a 20-25 min at 180°C (350F). I roll up the thin side of the fish under itself to make it cook at the same pace then the thick part.
If you leave the skin on, you can first fry it in olive oil in a pan to make it crisp before putting in the oven to finish the cooking. However this way, the crunch factor is in the skin, which you would then need to salt, but not with my crunchy sage topping. But it depends how you like it.
Speaking of the crunchy topping… You can choose whichever aromatic herb you like. I make mine with sage which I grow at home, I think it’s quite a flavorful and unique herb and sadly used too little. I often fry the leaves quick in a pan, a process which gets all that flavour out and the texture becomes crunchy, which is better then it’s thick uncooked leaves. Try to fry a few and then sprinkle them on an omelette, it’s fantastic! It’s a strong aromatic herb so don’t use too much. On top of it all, studies say it’s a memory booster and is researched for an Alzheimer’s cure.
The red quinoa bean salad is so easy and healthy, no one should pass on it. I lived in Peru, where that grain comes from. I was there for a year, a few years back. My Spanish teacher was a super passionate about “red quinoa” and reminded me never to forget about the first part of those 2 words… “red”. She talked about it’s benefits over and over, and I love her for it, so I guess I had to try it… and it was a “revelation”.
Over there in Peru it didn’t cost much back then, but my teacher used to say the price would soon explode, since other countries were gaining interested in that grain. I guess she was right…
Back to the recipe… I usually cook a little less than the pack suggest, because the germ comes out then… overcooked every time… That is rule number one about quinoa, you should never explode the grain. So I highly suggest you adjust your cooking by what you see. The texture of a closed yet cooked quinoa in the mouth when you bite on it and it explodes… is simply the best. So don’t “pop” open the quinoa, and remember that the cooking time for white and red quinoa isn’t the same. So you should refrain from buying those 2 colors quinoa + rice mixes.
So enough bla bla… let’s cook.
Crunchy Salmon on a red quinoa, bean salad
The crunchy topping +salmon
- 2 portions of salmon
- 1 cup of leftover bread, (baguette) if it isn’t old, toast it first
- 8-10 big leaves of sage
- 1 garlic clove
- salt, pepper
The red quinoa and bean salad
- 400g canned white beans (in my case white alubias beans)
- a few cherry tomatoes cut in squares
- 150g of red quinoa
- 2 hands of arugula or baby spinach leaves
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1tbs yellow mustard
- 1tbs honey or maple syrup
- salt, pepper
step 1 | The salmon
- Cut and clean your salmon pieces
- Had a tiny olive oil, salt, pepper
- Cook in oven for 25 min (big thick piece) (20 min if thin) at 180°C (359F). *start step 2
- In a mixer blend the bread, garlic, sage, a tsp. of extra-virgin olive oil and salt to a “big grain of sand” size.
- Add the crunch topping 5 minutes before the end.
Step 2 | The salad
- Prepare the salad, by cooking the quinoa (about 9min)
- Rinse the beans, drain and add to big bowl.
- Add the vinegar, olive oil, cherry tomatoes, mustard and honey to the beans.
- When the quinoa is ready, add to the bowl and mix it up.
- Add a few of the arugula or baby spinach, salt and pepper.
- Plate the fish on top of the salad.