It's a funny thing, this food blogging. Here we are, me at my desk (aka my kitchen table), you with your computer (or maybe your phone) and we get to connect. I write, I create recipes, I take pictures; you read, look and make some recipes. You tell me what you changed in the recipes and give me ideas to try the next time I make it. We really have a thing going on here, you and I.
Sometimes though I feel like it's a bit of a “Facebook” friendship. You know, we share the good, maybe the bad, but not the ugly. Happy times only.
But here's the thing … there's this baked salmon recipe that I really want to share with you. It's sweet and smoky and every bit delicious and I just know you're going to love it. It's perfect for summer. Perfect for this weekend. But (you knew there was a but coming, didn't you?) I'm just not feeling all that happy happy joy joy today, and I'm not very good at faking it.
In the spirit of friendship, and because I really don't want to keep this salmon recipe from you a day longer, I'm going to break from the routine and put myself on the line.
Two days ago my handsome man got in his work truck and drove away. Poor poor me. I feel a little silly complaining cause I really only have to make it through the next 2¾ days till I can get on a plane and see him again, but almost 5 days without him feels like an eternity. I want to tell you that I'm taking this little time apart to focus on myself, connect with friends, read, meditate, etc, etc, etc, but right now the house just feels empty, and I want him back.
It's a funny thing to have someone in my life that fits so well even a short absence leaves a hole. Four years ago I was fiercely independent and never knew what it was like to miss someone. Four years younger me would have laughed at me now.
I've never been one to turn to food for comfort, bourbon perhaps, but never food. I think it might be time to change that. I'm going to make some sweet and smoky baked salmon. I'm going to cover it in roasted tomato salsa. I'm going to pull a bottle of wine from my fridge and pour a glass. Who's up for coming over for dinner?
Thanks for listening to all the poor me poor me talk. You really are the best. Now let me tell you about something a little happier: this baked salmon. I've made a simple rub for it using smoked paprika, brown sugar, thyme and a little bit of cayenne. It's where both the sweet and smoky in the title and the ultra-bright orange-y red colour of the salmon comes from.
If your house is a bazillion degrees and the idea of turning on the oven has you sweating already you can definitely try this on the BBQ. It's not something I've done myself but, as the temperature keeps creeping higher, I suspect it'll be happening shortly.
I know I've gone on and on before about how important it is to not overcook fish, so I'll just keep it simple here. Please please do not overcook your fish. Bake it just until an instant-read thermometer tells you it is 140 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the flesh flakes with the most gentle touch of your fork. ♥
- 4 cups cherry tomatoes
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika
- 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
- 4 salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon liquid honey
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 8 cups of lettuce leaves
- Turn your oven to 420 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- Put 3 cups of the cherry tomatoes and ¼ cup of the onion in a small baking dish. Drizzle the top with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle over ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Put the tomatoes in the oven, don't wait for it to heat up, and let them roast for 20 minutes. Quarter the remaining cherry tomatoes and set them aside.
- While the tomatoes are roasting make the salad dressing then prepare the rest the meal. In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, Spanish paprika, thyme and cayenne powder.
- Place the salmon on the prepared baking tray and sprinkle the rub evenly over top of each piece. Drizzle the tops with the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
- When the tomatoes are finished roasting remove them from the oven and turn the heat down to 320. Keep the oven door open for a few seconds to lower the heat. Put the salmon in the oven and let it roast for 10 minutes, or until it has reached an internal temperature of 140 degrees and flakes easily with a fork. Do not over cook the salmon!
- Add the fresh tomatoes, onion, basil and tarragon to the roast tomatoes and mix together well.
- To serve: Spoon the roasted tomato salsa over the salmon with a heap of salad on the side.
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the apple cider vinegar, honey, balsamic and dijon mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season to taste with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Toss the lettuce leaves with the dressing immediately before you serve dinner.