Friday, March 8, 2013

Orange-Pecan Salmon with Three Pea Salad

Last Year's Post: Spinach Salad with Spicy Orange Dressing

Think Spring
For some reason this dinner says "spring" to me, although the ingredients are available year-round.  Maybe it's the beautiful green peas or the sweet-tart orange sauce on the salmon.  Whatever, if you find yourself longing for spring this is a great meal to make plus it's healthy.

The salmon is quickly marinated and then served with a unique and fabulous sauce made with orange marmalade, soy sauce, and chopped pecans. Although the salmon recipe specifies plain toasted pecans, I like to make a batch of spiced pecans to freeze and use for recipes like this in addition to topping salads or stir fries.  The sweet-spicy coating adds another layer of flavor to the dish without being overwhelming.

The three pea salad is made with sugar snap peas, snow peas, and green peas with a fresh and light vinaigrette.  It goes beautifully with the salmon.  Here's another idea - if you're planning Easter dinner, the three pea salad would be a fabulous side dish to an entree of ham along with some au gratin potatoes.  The pink ham and creamy white potatoes would look beautiful alongside the emerald green peas.  (I learned the importance of food colors on the plate from The Lawyer's parents, who are both artists.)
The recipe that was the inspiration for this salad included sour cream in the dressing.  I couldn't imagine covering up that beautiful green color with a creamy dressing so my version leaves it out.

After this meal we found ourselves with some leftovers and combined them the next day with some cooked brown rice for a great cold salad.  The orange sauce flavored the rice while the peas added crunch and the salmon added meatiness.  Yum.  Be sure to make extras!

Orange-Pecan Salmon printable recipe

Orange-Pecan Salmon

Serves 4
1 cup orange marmalade
½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
4 6-oz salmon fillets, approximately 1” thick, skinned
1 cup toasted chopped pecans
In a small bowl, combine the marmalade, soy sauce, salt and pepper.  Pour 1/2 cup marinade into a large resealable plastic bag.  Add the salmon; seal bag and turn to coat.  Refrigerate for up to 30 minutes.  Set aside the remaining marinade.

Drain and discard marinade from salmon.  Place salmon in a greased 11”x7” baking dish and bake, uncovered, at 350d for 20-25 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

In a small saucepan, bring reserved marinade to a boil; cook and stir until slightly thickened.  Serve sauce over the salmon; sprinkle with pecans.

Three Pea Salad printable recipe

Three Pea Salad
Serves 4
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
¼ lb sugar snap peas
¼ lb snow peas
6 oz frozen baby peas

In a large bowl, whisk together the shallot and vinegar.  Add the olive oil while whisking, then add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside to allow the flavors to meld.

Trim the sugar snap peas and snow peas by cutting off the tough ends.  Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.  Fill a large bowl with ice water.  Add the sugar snap peas to the boiling water and blanch for 20 seconds.  Add the snow peas and cook an additional 20 seconds.  Add the frozen baby peas and cook for 30 seconds longer.  Drain and immediately transfer the colander with the peas to the ice water to stop the cooking.  Drain again; spread the peas out on a clean towel and pat dry.

Add the peas to the dressing and toss to coat.

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