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Salmon and Fresh Tomato Salsa on Garlicky Cauliflower Mash with Crispy Brussels Sprouts

This meal does not take a really long time to cook, but it’s best to begin with the mash, as it takes the most time and the fish is cooked very quickly. I like to serve it with Crispy Brussels Sprouts --get started ahead with those, too -- and include the recipe below. Both the mash and the sprouts could be made a day ahead and then reheated while you cook the salmon. Do warm your plates/bowls in a 200 degree F oven.
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 center-cut salmon fillets, 4-5 ounces each
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Fresh Tomato Salsa for garnish-recipe below
  • Garlicky Cauliflower Mash-recipe below
  • Crispy Brussels Sprouts for serving-if desired (recipe below)
  • Lemon wedges for serving

Instructions

  • Heat a large cast iron or heavy skillet(s) over medium heat; add oil and heat until quite hot. Lay the salmon fillets skin side down carefully and season well with salt and pepper. Let cook 4-5 minutes or until quite browned; turn, season again, and let cook another 3 or 4 minutes or salmon is cooked to your liking.*
  • After the salmon has been turned in the pan, begin plating the meal. Spoon at least 1/2 cup mash across each plate or bowl and add Brussels sprouts to the side, if serving. When the salmon is done, remove fillets with tongs onto the mash and top each piece with a generous spoonful of tomato salsa. Serve hot immediately with lemon wedges.

Notes

*FDA temperature is 145 degrees F for safely-cooked salmon. I like it at medium – 125 degrees F.
FRESH TOMATO SALSA: In a small bowl, gently stir together 20 chopped cherry tomatoes (3 plum tomatoes), 2 minced scallions or green onions, and 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley. Season with a pinch each salt and pepper along with ½ teaspoon lemon zest. (optional: add ¼ cup diced red bell pepper). Set aside until needed.
---GARLICKY CAULIFLOWER MASH: In a 6 or 8 quart pot, heat 3-4 quarts water to boiling with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the florets from a large head of cauliflower and 4 peeled cloves of garlic, reduce to simmer, and cook until very tender—about 20 minutes. Drain well in a colander and carefully press out excess water with a plate, bowl, towels, or another colander. (Otherwise your mash will be runny.) Spoon cauliflower and garlic into a food processor; add 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne, 2 tablespoons softened butter or olive oil, and ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Process pulsing until quite smooth, adding a little more butter/oil or cheese if needed. (Or mash by hand with a potato masher.)Taste; adjust seasonings. Return to pot and keep warm or set aside and reheat as needed over low flame, stirring often.
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CRISPY BRUSSELS SPROUTS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove old outer leaves, trim the ends leaving a little bit of stem, and slice in half a pound of Brussels sprouts. Toss with 4 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and a pinch of crushed ground pepper. (Can add 2-3 cloves minced garlic if you like.) Turn out onto a sheet pan and turn the sprouts so the cut sides face down. Roast 30 minutes, turning sprouts over halfway through, or until they’re your favorite shade of crispy. Remove from oven and cover with foil to keep warm until needed. Taste and adjust seasonings. These are so good, you might make extra.
Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2020. All rights reserved.