Herb-Crusted Salmon with Wheatberry & Spinach Salad

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Of the ancient grains, farro’s my favorite. For those who crave extra-textural satisfaction, coating salmon in an herbed cracker-meal crust and pairing it with a chewy farro salad, delivers. It was my daughter Emily’s idea to add a hint of sweetness with honey and the newest version of dried cranberries soaked in pomegranate juice. This salad tastes best warm–add extra snipped spinach if you like.

Makes 4 servings

Salmon Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4, 3-ounce to 4-ounce salmon fillets
  • 1/2 cup cracker meal ( or panko bread crumbs)
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp finely-minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh-cracked black pepper

Wheatberry Salad Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheatberries
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup French lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 fresh bay leaf (crinkle and bend it to release its fragrance and oil)
  • 1 tsp fresh-ground white pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves snipped into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup broken walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup French feta cheese (OR roughly grated good-quality parmesan cheese)
  • 2 tbsp finely-minced green onions
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup dried pomegranate-juice-infused dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • balsamic vinegar to taste
  • 1 Tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp water
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp dried mustard powder

Instructions

  1. Make salad: In a rice cooker, combine wheatberries and water and cook until tender. While wheatberries cook, in a medium-sized saucepan, combine lentils with water and bay leaf; heat to boiling. Lower temperature and simmer until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain lentils. Combine lentils with cooked wheatberries. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. While mixture is still warm, mix in walnuts, spinach, parsley, cheese, onions and cranberries. In a pint jar, combine olive oil with lemon juice, water, dry mustard and honey. Shake to combine. Pour over warm salad. Add balsamic vinegar to taste. Adjust seasonings–add more honey, salt or pepper to taste.
  2. Saute fish: In saute pan, melt butter with olive oil. Dredge salmon fillets in mixture of cracker meal (or crumbs) with lemon zest, herbs, salt and pepper. In pan, dip skinless side of each fillet in butter mixture and flip over to skin side. cook, skin-side-down about three minutes. Flip and continue cooking three more minutes. Serve with wheatberry salad.

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