Come Home to Dinner
I like to make this salmon dish as a meal after a vigorous day of hiking and climbing – when I know that everybody is going to be ravenous and that I’m going to be way too tired to start cooking.
I associate this meal with a long day at The Pinnacles, when my son Max, 6 years old at the time, poked his stick over a ledge, almost straight into the side of a baby rattlesnake.
This was the meal waiting for us at home after that hair-raising adventure – perhaps the reason it became my go-to comfort food.
It’s also a very pretty dish, flecked with pink salmon and green onions, a great way to introduce fish to little kids who often turn up their noses at anything that once swam.
I usually try to avoid farmed salmon. But, when you have a family to feed, you need to make decisions that are good for your budget. Costco has some very tempting prices on farm-raised salmon. Frozen (wild) salmon at Trader Joe’s is also a good option, especially when you’re burying the fish in a casserole filled with rice and parmesan cheese.
The preparation is simple, and I usually double the recipe to ensure plenty of leftovers.
Serve this dish with a large, simple salad. For sweetness, as well as beautiful color, throw in a handful of kumquats cut into halves. The kumquats are at their best now.
We’re fortunate, in our forgiving climate, to be able to grow salad greens year-round. If the neighborhood cats have adopted your vegetable garden as their personal litter box, here’s a tip to keep them far away: Scatter your morning coffee grinds through the raised beds as cat-repelling compost.
Finally, when it comes to salad dressing, three words of advice: Don’t buy it.
Commercial salad dressing – even the so-called “good stuff”– is expensive and filled with unnecessary sugars and processed additives.
It’s easy enough to make your own. Just sprinkle your finished salad with a good quality olive oil, followed by a few shakes of rice vinegar and a couple sprays of Bragg Liquid Amino Acids, a kind of soy sauce found at health food stores.
Sara Solovitch is an associate editor at Bay Area Parent.
Rice Casserole with Roasted Salmon and Green Onions
- 3 cups cooked long grain rice
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- Fillet of salmon
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Roast salmon in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
Cook rice according to directions.
In a large skillet, melt butter. Add garlic and sauté about three minutes, until fragrant.
Stir in half and half and mustard; heat thoroughly.
Break salmon into pieces and add, cooking one minute. Be on the lookout for the little bones, and remove them.
Remove from heat and pour into an ovenproof casserole dish. Add rice, sprinkle with green onions and cheese, and toss to mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat in oven about 15 minutes, until piping hot and the cheese is melted.
Makes 6 servings.