Yesterday, we learned that fresh herbs pair well with specific foods. Today, I applied that philosophy to a dish for you to enjoy. Below is the recipe, in order of operation:
For the Quinoa
- Small dice 1 Cup Mirepoix: 2 parts onions, 1 part celery, 1 part carrots, 1/4 part garlic
- Mirepoix is a fancy French term for 2 parts onion, 1 part celery, 1 part carrot...garlic is not traditionally included, but I always add it for a little extra flavor and health boost.
- Measure out 1 Cup Rainbow Quinoa.
- Measure 1.5 Cups chicken stock (veg stock or water is acceptable). Add 1 bay leaf (I used dry bay leaf here because my landlord cut out my bay leaf plant, that I had been growing for years, thinking it was a weed...still sour about that).
- Cook mirepoix in a small sauce pan on medium heat until lightly translucent (A.K.A. Sweat the mirepoix).
- Add quinoa, toast for a minute, then add your stock. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 18-20 minutes, covered. Remove from heat.
For the Celery, Red Pepper, and Lemon Salad (Optional)
- Thinly slice 1 part celery, and 1 part red pepper (about a 1/4 cup each). Add 1 part celery leaves.
- Remove zest (without white pith--which will make it bitter) from 1/2 lemon and add to celery and pepper. Cut segments out between the pith making sure to remove seeds and add to the salad.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Add weak herbs if you have them.
For the Bok Choy
- Wash bok choy and cut in half length-wise. Heat a saute pan on medium heat, add 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.
- Add bok choy to the pan and cover. Bok choy has a high water content, so it will steam itself as it cooks.
- Flip bok choy after 2-4 minutes depending on size. Remove from the heat, covered.
For the Herb-Crusted Salmon
- Thinly slice (chiffonade) 2 tbsp of weak to medium herbs. In this case, I used parsley, tarragon, and dill--all in equal quantities. Reserve to the side to coat salmon after cooking. If you add the herbs before searing the salmon, the herbs will burn and probably lose their nutritional value.
- Heat a non-stick saute pan on medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of an oil with a high smoke point (canola, vegetable oil, olive oil, etc.).
- Blot portioned salmon dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and white pepper on both sides (white pepper is typically used with fish as opposed to black pepper, but either work with salmon).
- Pan is ready for the fish when the oil is very lightly smoking. Be sure to put the "presentation side" face-down in the pan (as opposed to the bloodline side). The fish should sizzle upon immediate insertion to the pan.
- Allow fish to sear on presentation side for about 3 minutes, until you can see a light golden brown around the edges. Flip salmon on to bloodline side and remove pan from heat. Allow fish to carry-over cook in the pan for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Most people overcook fish, but really, the best way to serve fish is "medium," in meat terms.
- Coat salmon with herb crust.
- Plate the dishes with all components and you are ready to serve!