The oil from salmon should be perfume – bottled and sold to those who regard food and its emanations to be one of the best things in life. With its translucent skin and tender meat, when the smell of this salmon and its blanket of fresh herbs hits my nostrils, I don’t want to be anywhere else than where I am.
While some people hail patience as a virtue and time as infinite, I often come up lacking in both areas. That is why this salmon or another version of this thirty- minute meal is a weekly thing for me. So why am I writing about the various iterations of herb-crusted salmon now/again?
Because I discovered rainbow chard. With every bite of sweet salmon, crunchy rainbow chard and the deep rich chocolate I served for dessert, came immense gratitude that such flavors and textures are at all possible. That a leafy green vegetable can possess fractals of bright pink veins or fluorescent yellow roots, that a fish can be just as delicious on its own as it is when bathed in fresh herbs, foreign spices and chili peppers is nothing short of miraculous. Taking my inspiration from middle-eastern flavors, I turned my go-to salmon into a unique celebration of nature’s bounty both cloaked in spices and proudly bearing its bright colors.
For the salmon
- 1 lb salmon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 tablespoons harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 handful cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F. In a bowl combine honey, harissa paste, cumin and cinnamon. Stir together. Add salt and pepper as you like. Apply to the salmon evenly and as liberally as you wish. Add cilantro spread evenly over the fish. Squeeze the lemon juice over fish. Bake in oven for 30 minutes. Serve hot.
For the chard
- 1 pound rainbow chard
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup of vegetable broth or water
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Remove and discard stems and center ribs of chard. Chop coarsely into rough square inch pieces. Pour the oil into a skillet or dutch oven. Saute the chopped onion until brown. Add the garlic and saute until brown. Add the chard and saute for 5 minutes. Add water or vegetable broth. Sauté chard mixture, stirring, until heated through, about 10 minutes.
Drain excess liquid into a colander. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle chard with lemon juice and toss well. Serve hot.