Party In Your Mouth – Seared Salmon with Portobellos …

Seared Salmon with Grilled Portobellos, roasted reds and arugula

This is a delicious and fun-tasting salmon preparation.  By fun-tasting, I mean party-in-your-mouth kind of fun.  As simple as it is, there is a lot going on.  The salmon provides a rich and fatty mouth feel.  The portobello provides an earthy, umami driven contribution (especially having been grilled).  The dressed arugula adds acidity and the kind of “pop” that only arugula can.  In the midst of all that, you’ll notice a pleasing sweetness creeping in from the roasted red peppers.  Now, if I wasn’t trying to be as health conscious as I am right now, I would serve it with a big slice of potato galette.  But alas…

There are quite a few steps to create this party-in-your-mouth kind of fun recipe, so I have broken it down into ingredients and then the process for each. Each step is totally worth it. Take your time and enjoy the process. This one is a winner.


Seared Salmon:
fresh, preferably wild, salmon of any type
kosher salt
freshly-cracked black pepper
clarified butter

Grilled, Marinated Portobello Mushroom:
portobello mushroom caps (one cap per two salmon filets)
garlic, minced
balsamic vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
thyme, dried or fresh
rosemary, fresh, minced
kosher salt
freshly-cracked black pepper

Roasted Red Peppers:
red bell pepper
oil of any type

Dressed Arugula:
baby arugula
lemon juice
lemon zest
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly-cracked black pepper

Seared Salmon with portobellos, roasted reds and arugula


Grilled, Marinated Portobello Mushrooms:
1. Remove the stem from cap
2. With the underside of the cap facing up, smear minced garlic into the gills. Sprinkle on thyme, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
3. Place cap inside of a zip lock bag.  Sprinkle in a healthy amount of balsamic vinegar and drizzle with olive oil.  If making more than one cap, place additional caps, underside facing up, onto the first cap.
4. Marinate, refrigerated, for as long as possible.  A few hours will work but a few days in optimal.
5. Preheat grill to medium heat
6. Grill caps until they start to release some of their water.  They will flatten and shrink a bit.  A little char is good but not too much
7. Set aside.

Roasted Red Peppers:
1. Coat a whole red bell pepper in just about any type of oil (except extra virgin, it would just be a waste)
2. The idea is to blacken the skin on all sides of the pepper.  This can be done in a number of ways: on a grill, directly on your stove top (gas: on the grate, heat on med-low – electric: use tongs to hold the pepper above the element), or with a blow torch (seriously).
3. Once all sides of the skin have been blackened, put in an airtight container or bowl covered with plastic wrap (I have been known to stick them in a plastic bag from the grocery store in a pinch – just tie the handles tightly).
4. Allow the pepper to steam with its own heat for plenty of time.  Do something else for a bit.
5. At this point the skin of the pepper should peel off relatively effortlessly; a little messy but quite easy.
6. Cut open and remove the core and seeds.

Dressed Arugula:
1. In a small bowl, add arugula, a splash of lemon juice, drizzle of olive oil, a little lemon zest, and a dash of salt and pepper
2. Toss to combine

Seared Salmon:*The best part of pan-seared anything is the delicious crust that is formed.  In the case of salmon, being such a fatty fish, the crust very nearly resembles salmon bacon, if you will.  In order to get a great sear/crust, there are some definite do’s and don’ts

1. Preheat a skillet to high heat.
2. Be sure that the salmon is as dry as possible, at least on the “presentation side.” Pat with towels and season at the very last moment as the salt will pull proteins to the surface, moistening it.
3. Season salmon on both sides with salt, pepper, and a dash of dried thyme.
4. When pan is thoroughly heated, add a tablespoon or so of clarified butter.  Swirl the pan to distribute.
5. Carefully add salmon to the pan. Don’t crowd and once they are down, don’t move them.
6. Cook 80% of the time on one side, then flip and cook for the remaining 20%.  Depending on the size of the filets and several other factors, this might take about 5 minutes or so.  Salmon should be medium rare in the pan, so as to end up medium on the plate.
7. Remove salmon from pan and rest for about 10 minutes.
Plate all ingredients as you see fit and enjoy.

Seared Salmon with portobellos, roasted reds and arugula


Do you like roasted reds? I have really been loving arugula this summer. It is a new favorite. Do you have any new favorite foods?


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