Saturday, October 17, 2009

Parmesan and Parsley Crusted Salmon with Arugula and Roasted Tomatoes

There is a long history of salmon fishing in my family, but I only know the stories from as far back as my grandfather.  It was a hobby, not a profession for him.  That being said, how much time does one need to spend at a hobby before we wonder if it is their profession? 

I went salmon fishing a couple of times with my Dad, my Uncle, and my Grandfather, and, to be perfectly honest, I couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.  It was early in the morning.  It was cold.  It was windy.  The water was rough, and the boat was rockier than I'd prefer.  There was a lot of waiting around too.  And in the end, we came home with no fish.  How was this fun?  The men in my family tried to convince me that it was just a bad day.  I never had the patience, or desire, to sit through the number of bad days you needed before you had a great day.  So, I decided, I'd rather enjoy land and the final cooked product, whenever it arrived. 

The flavors of this dinner blend so nicely together.  The juice of the roasted tomatoes adds to the fish and serves as a salad dressing for the arugula.  Unlike other fish recipes, I'd hesitate to substitute another kind of fish.  After all, Grandpa would be so disappointed!  

Serves 2 (but easily doubled)

For the tomatoes:

2 whole tomatoes, halved
olive oil
sea salt
fresh ground pepper
parmesan cheese, grated

For the fish: (fish topping recipe adapted from BBC Good Food,

2 1-1.5-inch thick pieces of salmon
1/2 Cup fresh breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
Juice of half a lemon
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese

Large handful of arugula

Preheat the over to 400 degrees.  Prepare the tomatoes on a baking tray or cookie sheet.  Salt and pepper the tomatoes, cut side up, and top with a little parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.  Put in the oven to bake while you prepare the fish (10-15 minutes).

Stir or blend together the breadcrumbs, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, and parmesan cheese.  (I did this in a little food processer.)  It should be moist, but still crumbly.  Place salmon on a greased baking tray.  Cover salmon with breadcrumb mixture.  Place in the oven with the tomatoes and bake 10-12 minutes or until cooked through and breadcrumbs golden.  Remove fish from oven, turn the oven up to broil and move the tomatoes up to one of the top racks.  Broil until tops become golden or tomatoes seem soft and cooked through (2-4 minutes).  Place fish and tomatoes on a plate of arugula.  Serve immediately.     


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