When it comes to cooking, there are still many things I’m not very good at. Cooking any kind of protein in a pan on the stove without burning it tops the list. In fact, I tend to avoid any recipe that calls for doing so. A close second on my list of Things I’m Not Good At is creating a meal with ingredients I already have on hand. So when this meal, which tapped both skills, turned out to be a raging success I was completely blown away. Now, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t magically have fresh (or even frozen) salmon filets sitting around so I picked those up from Whole Foods. But everything else came right from my fridge. The avocado puree is the easiest thing in the world to make–it’s basically guac ingredients with a few tweaks–namely shallot instead of red onion and lemon juice instead of lime–tossed into a blender and whipped into a frenzy until silky smooth.
I realized that the number of salmon recipes I’ve posted here hardly reflects the frequency with which I eat it. I down salmon at least once, but usually twice a week. The thing is, I tend to keep it super simple: Season with salt & pepper and roast at 450 for 12 minutes then serve alongside something green. Booooorrrrrrring. But now that I’ve tried this method of pan-searing before sticking it into the oven there’s no going back. I loved the restaurant-worthy crust that forms on the top and the fact that you finish cooking it in the oven so there’s no risk of burning the outside while the inside is still raw (ugh, every stinking time!) (Sidenote: I blame my electric stove because this happens even at low temperatures. My new apartment (I move in August!) has a gas stove and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it! )
I served the salmon and avocado puree alongside quinoa and arugula topped with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon. In other words, it was a super healthy, whole-foods only meal packed with good-for-you fats that will be in heavy rotation here throughout these warm summer months.
Pan-Seared Salmon with Avocado Puree
2-4 6 oz salmon filets (FYI I only cooked two filets though the avocado puree recipe makes enough to accompany four.)
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350. Heat a pan (cast-iron skillet works great) on medium. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Sear salmon on both sides for 3 minutes. Place on baking sheet, skin side down, and roast for 8-10 minutes until cooked through.
2 avocados, pitted, skin removed
1 jalapeno, sliced (keep seeds if you like it spicy, remove seeds for less spicy)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin out as needed. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from The Food Addicts