38 Power Foods, Week 37 — Wild Salmon — Salmon with Kale on Pea Risotto

If you’re looking for a fish meal for Good Friday –or a different salmon recipe– this is your day.  While it takes a few more minutes than simply grilling some fish and putting together a salad, it’s well worth it.  Think creamy-dreamy risotto to which you’ve added some spring peas.  Surround it with some quickly crisped healthy green kale and top with a tender filet of salmon.  Lemon, along with some minced fresh onion, adds the best touch over all at the end.  Here’s how….


   serves 2 with risotto left for lunch
            Some things are worth waitingfor.  Love is one;  risotto is the other.

COOK’S NOTES:  First you make the risotto. Half-way through, you start the salmon–it sears and finishes cooking off the heat, covered.  Last, you make the kale.  You’ll need onion three times– might as well chop it all at once.  Read through before you begin, but first open a little Oregon Pinot Noir and put on a song or two.

 Van Morrison:  Someone Like You
 Paul Simon:  American Tune  (based on O Sacred Head Now Wounded)

Start here:  with the risotto…

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/4 cup for risotto, rest for kale and garnish)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1 cup arborio  rice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper (can sub black)
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock, hot (keep hot in another pot until risotto is done)
  • 1 cup green peas (unthawed if frozen)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1. In a heavy-bottomed medium pan (I like 3 1/2 – 4 quarts), melt the butter over medium heat.  Add 1/4 cup (only) onion and cook 2-3 minutes before adding garlic.  Cook 2 minutes and stir in rice, making sure all the grains of rice are well-coated with butter.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Let cook one more minute and add the wine, cooking until wine is absorbed.

2.  Dip out two ladles of the hot chicken stock into the rice.  Let cook, stirring occasionally, until stock is absorbed.  Repeat several times until rice is al dente (just a little resistance in it when bitten into), adding peas in before the last addition of stock.  (Test the rice toward the end until it’s done to your liking.)
3.  Stir in Parmesan.  Taste and adjust for seasonings.  Stir in a little more stock (not wine) if the rice is too thick; the goal is creamy and somewhat loose–not sticky.  Sticky, though, is still edible–if that’s what you’ve ended up with.  (Scroll down for video on making risotto.)  You’ll have leftover risotto for lunch tomorrow.

Antonio Banderas…As Guido in “Nine”    — Guido’s Song       (Lyrics here.)

 Next, sear the salmon…

Start the salmon about half-way through the risotto.  Or, if you’d rather–cook it just ahead of the risotto and set aside.  You can eat it at room temperature.

 2 4-6 ounce salmon filets, drizzled-both sides-with olive oil and seasoned with a sprinkling of salt and pepper

Heat a small, heavy skillet or grill over high heat.  When hot, add salmon skin-side down.  Let cook 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and cover.  The salmon will continue to cook on its own and will be cooked by the time the risotto’s finished.  Check it a time or two; it should be moist, but firm when it’s done.  (I found this out by mistake, but decided it was a great way to cook fish.)

Randall Thompson’s Alleluia

Third, make the KALE … it‘s flexible and will wait:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch each crushed red pepper and Herbes de Provence (or another herb you like)
  • 2 cup kale, cut into small pieces or shredded
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion (from the onion you chopped for risotto)
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

 In a large, deep skillet over medium flame, heat oil with red pepper and herbs for a minute or until fragrant.  Add kale and onions; sprinkle with a pinch each salt and pepper.  Let cook, stirring, for 10-15 minutes (maybe more) until kale is crispy-done to taste.  Adjust seasonings before serving.

Paul McCartney, Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp  My Valentine 

Last:  Put it all together with the following… like this:

  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced onion (from the onion you chopped for risotto)
  • fresh ground black pepper 
  • 1/4 fresh lemon

Place a scoop (1/2 – 1 cup) of risotto in a pasta bowl or on a plate. Top with salmon.  Surround with kale.  Drizzle salmon with olive oil and top with onion.  Squeeze lemon over all, paying special attention to the kale.

A couple of videos you might like:

Two more tunes while you finish your wine:

If you liked this, you might also like the most popular recipe on the blog!      Salmon on Kale with Lemon and Thyme:


Read all about the health benefits of eating wild salmon right here…

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 38 Power Foods was a Team Effort and This is the Last Post for Our Group!!

 We’ve been blogging together for nearly 38 weeks, each week focusing on one of the gorgeous, healthy power foods in this fun book by the editors of  whole living magazine: 

Check out our posts (now and from earlier dates) from these blogs…

Minnie Gupta from TheLady8Home.com

 Thanks to everyone for their inventive food and stories.  Thanks to Mireya Merritt for organizing us and keeping us on track.  Keep an eye out for future posts as several of us (and others)  begin INA FRIDAYS the first Friday of every month, beginning April 5.  If you’d like to be part of that group, leave me a comment with your contact information. 
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Sing a new song,
Worship with us tonight at Prospect Park United Methodist- 22 Orlin SE, Minneapolis: 
                            Good Friday Tenebrae @ 7pm   


5 thoughts on “38 Power Foods, Week 37 — Wild Salmon — Salmon with Kale on Pea Risotto

  1. @Ansh @ Mireya Thanks for your support and for keeping on with 38 Power Foods–I've learned so much from both of you. Onward and upward now. (I can't believe it went that fast.)

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