This is what you need in your life. Well balanced dishes that hit all the right notes and don’t you sometimes just need a good meal? The salad has a great crunch from the barley and walnuts and a little bit of sweetness from the figs and cranberries…it’s kind of perfect. It can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for the week – bonus.
Salmon is one of my favourite fishes and I have to say this is my new favourite recipe for it. The cream sauce is not too heavy or rich and the garlic breadcrumbs give the salmon texture. This meal looks fancy but was actually really easy to follow and that gets my stamp of approval.
Fig & Arugula Barley Salad (adapted from Love&Lemons)
1.5 cups cooked barley or wheat berry or quinoa (see cooking notes on package)
2 cups arugula or other baby salad greens
1/4 cup of green onion, chopped
1/2 cup figs, quartered, approx. 8-10 figs (you can use dried figs if fresh aren’t available)
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted & chopped
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 chopped mixed herbs (I used basil)
1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional)
2 T olive oil
1/2 clove minced garlic
2 T lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
Whisk dressing together and assemble salad ingredients.
* to cook barley:
(ratio: 3 cups of water for every 1 cup of wheat berries)
Put barley and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer uncovered on medium-low heat for 20-30 min. Test for done-ness, they should be chewy, not mushy, but not crunchy. Drain excess water before using.
These can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
Pan Crisped Salmon with Light Cream Dijon and Garlic Breadcrumbs
1 pound salmon filet
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 small shallot, diced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped sage
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup low-fat evaporated milk
1 1/2 tablespoons dijon mustard
Prepare breadcrumbs first by heating a small saucepan over medium-low heat and adding 1 tablespoon of butter. Add in 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant, then stir in bread crumbs well, tossing for a minute or two until the mixture is combined and slightly golden. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Season salmon with salt and pepper, then place in the skillet (skin side up, if the salmon has skin) and cook until opague in the center and golden on each side, about 5-6 minutes for salmon that is 1-inch thick. If you use salmon with skin, simply cook it skin side up the entire time. Remove salmon and set aside, then add remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter, shallot, garlic, and sage. Stir well to coat then cook for 1-2 minutes until sizzling, then add in white. Cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing it to bubble and slightly reduce, then whisk in milk and mustard. Continue to whisk and cook while milk bubbles on the sides and thickens, stirring for a minute or two. Taste and season additionally or whisk in a bit more dijon if desired.
Serve salmon immediately, drizzled with dijon cream and then top with breadcrumbs. Serve with Fig & Arugula Barley salad!