Some dishes just beg to be eaten. This is one of those meals.
Upon first glance, the bright red cherry tomatoes, vibrant green cilantro, and pan seared salmon fillets nestled on top invite you in for a visual treat. After you get past the pretty colors popping off the plate, the citrusy aromas from the lemon find their way to your nose.
Sounds pretty great, right?
Well, this dish is a treat both to look at and eat. After all, the old adage rings true - We do indeed eat first with our eyes.
The flavor combinations here are splendid - whole wheat couscous, paprika, fresh ginger, red onion, lemon, cherry tomato, and cilantro are excellent partners for salmon, as it turns out. This dish is bright and refreshing, while satisfying at the same time.
It's a healthy meal that will leave you with a full tummy and a happy smile. :)
Lemony Salmon with Cherry Tomato Couscous
Adapted from: Nigella Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home, by Nigella Lawson
- Heaping 1 cup couscous (I used whole wheat couscous)
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh gingerroot
- 1 cup freshly boiled water
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1 tablespoon garlic flavored oil, plus 1 teaspoon
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 4 salmon fillets
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Put the couscous into a heatproof bowl, with 2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon table salt), 1/4 teaspoon of the paprika, and all the grated ginger. Give everything a bit of a mix before adding the hot boiled water. Cover the bowl, either with plastic wrap or a plate, and set aside.
Into another bowl, put the finely chopped onion.
In a wide, shallow dish, big enough to take the salmon fillets later, zest the lemon into the dish.
Squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl with the onions.
Add the remaining salt and the paprika to the bowl with the lemon zest and stir in 1 tablespoon garlic flavored oil.
Halve the cherry or grape tomatoes and put them into yet another bowl. Stir in the remaining teaspoon of garlic flavored oil and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan for the salmon fillets. While the pan is getting hot, add the fillets to the dish with the lemon zest and coat both sides with the mixture.
Put the fillets in the hot pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. The fillets should be juicy and have a vivid coral color in the middle, so do check as you cook.
Meanwhile, uncover and fluff the couscous, which should have absorbed all the water. Add the tomatoes with lemony onion mixture and stir with a fork.
Add nearly all of the cilantro to the couscous, and stir it through, then taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed.
Spoon some couscous onto each plate and arrange a salmon fillet alongside. Sprinkle with a little more cilantro as you hand out each plate.