With the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind us, you probably have a little more time to plan and think about what to make for dinner. And because we’re at the start of a new year, a time for making changes and cleaning up our acts, that planning may involve preparing meals that are a bit more healthful.
Eating more fish is one good option. More than a week ago, U.S. News & World Report again ranked the Mediterranean diet as the No. 1 overall best diet. It calls for eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and olive oil, and it calls for at least two serving of fish and seafood per week. Salmon is a lean source of protein and a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids that can be beneficial to heart health.
Today’s dish is a sheet-pan supper, meaning you cook your main dish and vegetables all on one baking sheet. Cooking the whole meal in one pan is a huge help, saves time and makes for easy cleanup. The key, of course, is choosing thin cuts of meat, poultry or fish and making sure that veggies are cut into small, even-sized pieces that will cook evenly.
For this dish, a center-cut salmon filet is cut into several individual pieces and placed to one side of a baking sheet. On the opposite side are your vegetables of choice. This recipe features zucchini and red onions, but you can substitute others such as broccoli (a favorite) or cauliflower. Broiling brings out the natural sweetness in some vegetables. Just be sure to cut vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower into smaller pieces of about 1 inch. Brussels sprouts would make a nice addition, but they should be halved or quartered. Bell peppers should be cut into strips.
This dish is cooked under the broiler, which means it’s ready in no time. Temperatures of broilers vary, but they’re typically 500-550 degrees. You also have to be careful not to get your food too close to the broiler element. A good 6-8 inches from the heating element is desirable.
If there’s one thing to stress about cooking salmon, it’s simply this: Don’t overcook it. Invest in a thermometer and cook it to about 130 degrees. At that degree of doneness, the fish will be moist and tender.
This recipe serves two generously with leftovers or four without leftovers. You can add more vegetables if you like. Salmon that is left over is terrific on a salad.
Soy-Glazed Salmon with Veggies and Citrus
Serves: 2-4 / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 30 minutes
1 pound center-cut salmon filet with skin, cut into 3 to 4 pieces
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil, plus more for drizzling on vegetables
1 medium red onion, peeled, cut into quarters
2 to 4 cups of vegetables of choice in pieces (broccoli, snow peas, carrots, zucchini)
Kosher salt and pepper, optional
1 mandarin orange, peeled, segmented and diced
1 green onion, sliced, optional
Preheat the broiler to low. Line a sided baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
Use paper towel to pat the salmon steaks dry; place to one side of the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, tamari and oil. Drizzle about half of the mixture over the salmon filets. Place onion and other vegetables on the baking sheet opposite the salmon, drizzle with some oil and, if you like, season with salt and pepper.
Broil for about 10 minutes or until salmon is cooked through. Remove from oven and drizzle some of the remaining sugar-oil mixture and let rest for about 2 minutes before transferring to plates.
To serve, slide a spatula between the skin and the salmon and transfer to a plate. Arrange vegetables on plate and top salmon with diced mandarin. Garnish with green onion slices. Once plated, spoon any additional pan juices over salmon and vegetables if desired.
From and tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.
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