Thursday, August 27, 2009

Salmon with orzo

It’s hard to imagine anything easier or more delicious than this quick dish. Accompany it with a green salad and you’ve got a perfect summer supper.

At our house we have certain things categorized by season. For example, we’d never make lasagna during July and August, and we wouldn’t make gazpacho in January.

A word about doneness for the salmon: We like ours medium rare in the center. If you want it more cooked-thru, leave it in the hot liquid for an extra 4-5 minutes. Since it gets shredded anyways, just separate the thickest part with a fork to check for doneness.

A word about the cooking liquid: I use broth or a stock made from shrimp shells or lobster shells. You certainly can just use plain water, though the salmon will be a little less flavorful, but perfectly fine.

Salmon with orzo
14 oz. salmon, pin bones removed, skin on
broth or water to cover
1 cup orzo, prepared according to package directions
¼ cup canned black olives, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped fine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and black or white pepper to taste
juice of ½ small lemon
1 tbsp parsley, chopped

Bring your cooking liquid to a boil. Carefully slip in the salmon. Cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let stand 10-15 minutes until desired doneness is achieved. When you reach that point, remove the salmon from the liquid and allow to cool completely.

As soon as the orzo is done, drain it in a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking. Drain well.

In a large bowl, combine the orzo, olives, scallion and toss. Whisk the mustard into the olive oil and toss into the orzo mix. Season with salt and pepper and taste. Adjust seasonings to your taste, then shred the salmon into the bowl, garnish with lemon juice and parsley, and toss one final time.

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