Salmon steak with whole grain pasta, broccoli, and garlic olive oil
4 ounces whole grain pasta
1 T extra virgin olive oil (to sear onions & garlic)
½ medium onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 T pine nuts, lightly toasted in a pan
¾ cup broccoli, cut into small florets
5 ounce (approximate) salmon steak
*For best results use fresh fish
½ large lemon (for juicing)
1 T extra virgin olive oil (for fresh lemon thyme dressing)
¼ cup fresh thyme
Sea salt flakes
Pepper (preferably freshly ground white peppercorns for their subtle flavor)
1. It is up to you when it comes to deciding on your desired cut/shape of pasta. In this recipe I’ve used spaghetti. Reward yourself and purchase a reputable organic brand even if it means diving in and trying something new; flavor and health benefits should reign supreme. I find it’s best to follow the cooking instructions on the package as some brands offer different methods.
2. Wash your fresh salmon steak under cold running water for no longer than 10 seconds. This is just a quick rinse to maintain the fish’s natural healthy omega oils and minerals. With a paper towel absorb any remains of water. This should help prevent any undesirable spitting/splattering during the cooking process. Heat up a nonstick fry pan, preferably one with a thick base to retain the desired heat setting of a moderate to high temperature. If desired, rub a mild pinch of salt and pepper into the salmon and sear it off with the skin side facing down first. I maintain a little jiggle and shake of the pan to prevent my fish from sticking and to encourage an evenly cooked and crisp finish. Practice this method on the flip side too. A perfectly cooked salmon steak will present a good amount of natural moisture with a very slightly undercooked mid-section (but not raw).
3. Toast the pine nuts in a hot pan, constantly stirring until golden in color. (Pine nuts are known to be a great source of “brain food.”)
4. Moderately heat 1 T of the olive oil in a thick-based pot or pan and sear your onion and garlic with a pinch of sea salt flakes. I practice this method with all of my basic dishes as it encourages the onion to become a little sweeter. For best results cook until transparent and glassy.
5. Steam or blanch your broccoli florets in high heat until they turn a beautiful bright green, usually about 30 seconds. You want to maintain the vegetable’s nutrients, color and fresh texture. I prefer my vegetables steamed to lock in the goodness.
6. Combine another T of the extra virgin olive oil with lemon juice and fresh-stripped thyme leaves with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper to taste. Stir vigorously in a cup or use a small container with a firmly closed lid and shake your dressing for a good 20 seconds.
7. Drain your cooked pasta and mix it in with the onion, garlic and toasted pine nuts. Add the broccoli and lemon thyme dressing and stir or toss. To finish, gently rest your salmon steak on the warm pasta and enjoy.
*Recipe for one
Andre Sicklinger is a Los-Angeles-based chef. For more information visit theautralianchef.com
Originally published in June 2011