February 17, 2010 in Food

A little bit of fat can help a healthy dinner taste better

Salmon’s omega-3 fatty acids a good choice for those on diet
Jim Romanoff Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Potato-crusted salmon has a tomato and arugula relish that is colorful as well as delicious.
(Full-size photo)

It’s always nice to be told to eat something fatty.

Fat simply makes things taste better. And that’s why salmon, which is high in good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids, is such a great choice on a healthy diet, especially if you just can’t face another (often flavorless) boneless, skinless chicken breast.

To showcase those healthy and delicious oils, we created this recipe for Potato-Crusted Salmon with Tomato and Arugula Relish.

The warm relish, made with peppery arugula, roasted tomatoes and peppers, creates an excellent balance to the assertive flavor of the salmon. Plus, a crust of thinly sliced Yukon Gold potatoes gives the salmon a welcome crunchy exterior.

Fresh Atlantic salmon is available year-round. Pacific, which tends to have a fuller flavor and brighter color, is in season from late spring to late fall. Frozen wild salmon, which loses little in terms of quality, is available year-round.

Choose salmon that is firm to the touch and has a bright color. It should not have a fishy odor, just a fresh seaweed scent (don’t be shy about asking to smell before you buy).

Salmon steaks are basically a cross section of the whole fish. Because they include the skin and bones, steaks hold together well and tend to stay moist. This makes them ideal for grilling and broiling.

Fillets are the flesh of the salmon that has been cut off the bone from both sides of the fish. Fillets have very few bones (you may need to remove a few pin bones) and work well for most preparations.

Potato-Crusted Salmon with Tomato and Arugula Relish

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

Salt and ground black pepper

2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes

1 1/4-pound salmon fillet, skin removed, cut into 4 portions

1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into thin slices

2 cups baby arugula, rinsed and dried

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with foil, then brush 1 teaspoon of the oil over each.

Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer over one of the baking sheets. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until softened. Let cool for 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks. Set aside.

Use the slicing side of a box grater or mandoline, slice the potatoes into very thin disks, discarding the ends. Arrange the potato slices in a single layer on the second baking sheet. Add them to the oven and roast until golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

While the potatoes and tomatoes roast, remove any bones from the salmon. Season both sides with 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

In a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil. When the oil is very hot, slide the salmon fillets into the pan and cook until golden on the underside, about 5 minutes. Carefully turn the salmon over cook until golden on the second side, about another 4 minutes.

Place the skillet in the oven. Bake for about 5 minutes, or until the salmon is just opaque at the center. Transfer the fish to serving plates and cover to keep warm.

Return the skillet to medium heat on the stovetop. Add the peppers, arugula and capers. Stir until the greens are wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and cornstarch, then add the mixture to the skillet. Add the tomatoes and stir until the relish is heated through and slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

Top each serving of salmon with potato slices and the arugula and tomato relish.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories; 82 calories from fat; 9 grams fat (1 gram saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 74 milligrams cholesterol; 24 grams carbohydrate; 33 grams protein; 4 grams fiber; 686 milligrams sodium.

© Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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