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Nigella's Salmon with Greens and Shitake Mushrooms

Posted Dec 16 2009 12:00am
It's "Potluck" time again over at I Heart Cooking Clubs, the chance to make anything we want. For me as we head into the busy and indulgent days before Christmas I was craving something easy and healthy to eat so Nigella's recipe for Salmon with Greens and Shitake Mushrooms fits the bill nicely. I have had this one tagged to make for ages and based on how fast it is to prepare and how tasty it is, I wish I had made it long before now. It's from " ," in the "Templefood" section which Nigella describes as, "It's my term for the soothing, pure, would-be restorative food I make for myself after one binge or late night too many. "Temple" as in "my body is a..." Well mine's not but this is what I eat when I want to feel it is. And don't think--as if--I'm counseling deprivation or restraint, but rather the holy glow of self-indulgently virtuous pleasure...."

Nigella says, "My templefood days do not consist of fey picking: this is gratifyingly substantial. In order to enjoy it you don't have to know that salmon is rich in omega-3 oils, which are beneficial, indeed essential, to good health, and that shitake mushrooms are believed, by the Japanese at least, to contain cancer-fighting properties, but it all helps in the aim of wallowing in virtuous well-being. But the most important thing I can tell you is that this is good."

Salmon with Greens and Shitake Mushrooms
"Nigella Bites" by Nigella Lawson
(Serves 2)

2 skinned salmon fillets, preferably organic
1 clove garlic, finely minced or chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
generous 1/2 cup (125g) shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
14 ounces, (about 1 & 3/4 cups or 400g) bok choy or choi sum, roughly chopped with stalks separated from leaves
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
pepper to taste

Grill or fry the salmon fillets – preferably in a good non-stick pan or on the smooth side of a griddle – until just cooked through and remove them to warmed plates while you get on with or finish the vegetables (you can start them off as the salmon cooks).

In a heavy-based pan, fry the garlic in the oil until it is warm but not catching. Add the sliced mushrooms together with the choi sum stalks, stirring everything together for a bare minute or so. Cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, remove the lid and add the roughly chopped choi sum leaves, soy sauce and sesame oil, then let it cook for another 2–3 minutes until the leaves have wilted.

Pile the mushrooms and greens on the plates with the salmon and, pleasurably, eat. I sometimes make a little sauce to go with, by mixing Colman’s mustard powder into a smooth paste with a little cold water, adding a few drops of soy sauce and (a Microplane grater makes easy work of this) a scant, pulpy purée of fresh ginger.

Notes/Results: On the table in under 30 minutes, healthy and tastes great--not much more I could ask from this dish. A few changes/additions; my wild salmon had the skin on but it was less bother to cook it that way than to cut the skin off. Nigella seems to call for two pans here-one for the fish and one for the garlic and vegetables but I think it is silly to dirty two pans so I just used my large wok, cooking the fish on the flat bottom and then set the salmon aside and then threw the garlic, bok choy and shitakes in the same pan--easy peasy. I like lots of flavor, so I doubled the garlic and added about a tablespoon of freshly grated ginger and some red chili pepper flakes to the mixture as it cooked. I garnished the the dish with some roasted sesame seeds for some texture. This is a great dish and I did find myself "wallowing in virtuous well-being" while enjoying my dinner as Nigella would say. ;-)

You can check out what my fellow IHCC members chose as their potluck dishes by heading to the IHCC site and checking out the links for December's Potluck here.

BTW: I just noticed that this is my post #500! Yowza!

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