Friday night is a very beautiful thing. Nothing but weekend ahead. Bellisimo. Tonite I had to make a ‘dessert of my choice’ for an Easter celebration this weekend and decided upon a rhubarb layer cake in La Cucina Italiana. Silly me neglected to read the recipe and the darn thing took me over 2 hours to make with every pan, pot and bowl I own in the sink. (Keep your fingers crossed that the end result matches the effort!!) So as I peered at beautiful salmon fillets that I had purchased at the fish market this afternoon, a memory of a warm, breezy October afternoon lunch in Siciliy with plates of freshly caught, herb marinated fish came to mind. And given the complexity of my ‘dessert of choice’ receipe, I knew this was the ticket. I paired the salmon with a fresh salsa of avocado and blood oranges. If you can’t find blood oranges, simply substitute juicy navel or valencia oranges or even fresh tomatoes. Enjoy!
Herb Marinated Salmon with Blood Orange and Avocado Salsa
For the marinade:
1/2 cup good quality olive oil, plus additional for frying
1 large handful cilantro, chopped
1 large handful parsley, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed (use a mortar and pestle or flat side of a knife)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 small salmon fillets
For the salsa:
1 large ripe avocado, diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 small blood oranges (if you can find them) or 1 large regular orange
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded, ribs removed, diced (add more if you’d prefer)
3 teaspoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 mixing bowl for salsa, 1 small saucepan towarm the marinade, 1 medium skillet to saute the salmon
1. Put olive oil in small saucepan. Add chopped cilantro, parsley and garlic to oil and stir to mix. Add freshly squeezed lemon juice. Stir. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Warm the herb mixture over low heat until warm. Adjust any seasonings. Allow to cool.
2. Place salmon fillets in a shallow dish. When marinade is cool, pour over fish and marinate for about 30 minutes or so.
3. Meanwhile make the salsa. Place the avocado in a small mixing bowl.
4. Using a small paring knife, cut the peel and any white pith from the orange. Cut the membranes of the orange to segment. Do this over the mixing bowl to catch any juices.
5. Add the red onion, jalapeno and lime juice to the bowl and stir to combine. Add in the cilantro and stir. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Set aside.
6. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.Remove salmon from marinade and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute salmon until browned on both sides and cooked through – about 5 minutes each side.
7. To plate, place some salsa on the bottom of the plate, lay over 1 salmon fillet. Top with additional salsa and serve!