Peachy but Blue
Grilled Salmon with Green Lentils and a Cidered Vin Gorgonzola Baby Spinach Salad. Garnished with a Grilled Peach Half.
Sometimes an ingredient just yells from across the grocery store, “USE ME NOW”. This was the case with our garnish, the grilled peach. Simple, colorful, sweet, and juicy, the peach took to the grill like the salmon did to water. Before it got caught and we cooked it of course.
The description sounds complicated, but as with most of my food it’s really quite simple. Letting the ingredients speak for themselves takes all of the hard work out good food. Lets break it down item by item. I won’t provide you a recipe for this meal, because it doesn’t need one. Use the “eater” inside you and taste your way through this execution.
Here we lightly oiled a salmon filet with canola oil and then rubbed it with chopped parsley, thyme, kosher salt, and black pepper.
Salmon gets grilled for about 6 minutes on each side or until the desired doneness is achieved. If you close the lid on the grill the center of salmon will cook faster.
Grilled Salmon – What I Used
Flat Leaf Parsley
Salt & Pepper
Green Lentils w/ Smoked Bacon
Lentils provide a meaty, earthy, compliment to any dish. For this plate we used the swimming or pasta method to prepare our lentils. With the swimming method we don’t have to measure out liquid to lentil ratios. I chose the swimming method here, because I didn’t want to use chicken stock, I wanted the salmon to stand out.
Pot of boiling water, add some salt and a bay leaf. When water is boiling add lentils, turn heat down and simmer until the lentils are tender but firm (Al Dente).
Strain, reserve and chill. Chill? Yes, we want to chill the lentils here and reheat them when the salmon is resting with a saute technique where we can add fat and flavor.
If you’re new to my posts, fat and flavor means sautéing aromatics and herbs in an oil, then tossing our item (lentils in this case) in to coat and reheat. Ending with additions of salt, pepper, herbs or any other seasoning we are using. This type of finishing technique is very important when using the swimming method, because boiling water typically adds no flavor.
For the lentils my fat and flavor finisher involved rendering some diced uncured, smoked bacon, until crispy. Remove the bacon and sweat onion and garlic in about 1 TBL of the bacon fat. Add the chilled lentils and warm through with medium low heat. Fold in the reserved bacon at the end.
Smoked Bacon & Lentils – What I Used
Uncured, smoked bacon
Cut the peach in half, lighly oil with canola, and grill. I added no salt until the very end when the peach half was sliced and placed on the plate. Remember, salt pulls moisture out of foods. Salting before the peach is on the plate will cause the fruit to weep and lose its beautiful shape and texture.
Grilled Peach – What I Used
Salt & Pepper
Baby Spinach with Cidered Vin and Gorgonzola
The execution on this is so simple!
In a small bowl or cup add 1 part canola or salad oil and 1 part apple cider vinegar. Taste. Too fatty? Add more cider vinegar. Too tart? Add more oil. Want a hint of sweetness grab a sugar. What kind of sugar? What do you have, no recipes this time, remember. Taste your way through it. A good rule of thumb for a vinaigrette is 2:1 oil to vinegar as the base. Then add your flavor components. Always taste for salt and pepper at the end.
Take the washed baby spinach and toss with the apple cider and canola oil mixture. Dress the bowl. Not the salad. If you aren’t familiar with that I will cover it more in depth in a video how-to blog. Long story short though; put the dressing in the bowl and coat the bowl. Then add the greens and toss. No clumpy salad mess.
Follow up with crumbled gorgonzola or bleu cheese and cashew halves. Tada. Done.
Spinach & Bleu Salad – What I Used
Red Wine Vinegar