Great news! I recently ordered two new cookbooks. One that specializes in burgers and the other that specializes in everything. Together, I’ll have over 700 new recipes to choose from and share. After I receive them, I’ll begin my search for something that deals with only artisan pasta. I really need to get back into making pasta. But this time, I want it to be special. I want to make pasta in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. It’s going to be awesome.
Anyway, on to today’s recipe. Do you remember the last post I wrote where I talked about how simple things were to prepare? How few ingredients were necessary for the dish? Well, today, we’re taking things up a notch. Now, I don’t want to scare you or anything because really, things aren’t all that crazy, but what I will say is that more ingredients are needed. The upside is that today’s dish has the flavor to go with them. I really like this one.
I’d say that the star of today’s dish is the vinaigrette. It’s chock full of interesting ingredients and truly accentuates whatever it touches. Think red wine, currants, sweet onion, olive oil and brown sugar. Boiled, simmered and added to the tops of oven roasted salmon, cauliflower and mushroom. Really, this is a good one that should go on your list.
I’d like to thank Curtis Stone for this recipe. In his fabulous cookbook called What’s For Dinner?, he named it Oven-Roasted Salmon with Cauliflower and Mushrooms. I love his recipe, but I want to let you know that I did change a few things up. Nothing major – just a few that I thought would work a bit better.
For the Vinaigrette
1/2 Cup Dry Red Wine
1/4 Cup Dried Currants (Substitute with Raisins)
3 Tablespoons Sweet Onion, Finely Chopped
3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Ground Black Pepper
For the Cauliflower & Mushrooms
1 Head Cauliflower, Trimmed and Cut into Small Florets
1/4 Cup Regular Olive Oil
1 1/4 Pounds White Button Mushrooms, Cleaned and Halved
1/4 Cup Sweet Onion, Finely Chopped
1 Tablespoon Garlic, Minced
For the Salmon
4 5-Ounce Salmon Fillets, Skin-On
Ground Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Regular Olive Oil
Since I prefer sweet onion to shallots, I generally use them in any recipe that calls for shallots. Of course, if you have opposite preferences, feel free to switch things back. Also, you can use any type of brown sugar you’d like. I happened to have dark on hand, but light would be fine.
Go ahead and pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
Prepare the Vinaigrette
In a medium sized saucepan, add the wine, currants (or raisins), sweet onion, red wine vinegar and brown sugar. Warm the pan over high heat until you have a boil. When boiling, immediately reduce the heat to low and let simmer until you have about a 1/4 cup of liquid left. This will only take about 5 minutes. When that’s finished, turn off the heat and mix in the olive oil. Also add a pinch of both salt and pepper.
Prepare the Cauliflower & Mushrooms
Add the trimmed and cut cauliflower to a large bowl and to that, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper over the ingredient and then toss everything well. The goal here is to coat the cauliflower with the oil and seasoning as best as possible.
Next, spread the cauliflower out on a large baking sheet. Place it in the oven for 30 minutes. When finished, remove the cauliflower from the oven and reduce the temperature to 400 degrees.
While the cauliflower is cooking, warm a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the mushrooms. Let cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes. Then, cook for 5 more minutes, but this time stir.
When the mushrooms are finished, add the cooked cauliflower, sweet onion and garlic to them. Cook and stir for just a minute or two to combine flavors and to soften the onion.
After this, transfer everything from the skillet into a bowl and set aside for later use.
Cook the Salmon
Warm the same skillet you cooked the mushrooms in over medium-high heat. When it’s to temperature, add 1 tablespoon of regular olive oil and the salmon fillets, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes like this and then flip each fillet over. At this point, place the skillet in the oven and roast between 3-5 minutes. The salmon should be flaky and still somewhat pink inside when finished.
Plate & Serve
For effect, you can remove the salmon from the skillet and add the mushroom and cauliflower mix back into it. Then, you can place the salmon on top of that and bring everything to the table. If you use a cast iron skillet, the cast iron will retain the heat for a while, which will keep the ingredients warm.
The Final Dish
This dish looks good in so many ways. It really wasn’t a challenge at all to photograph. I thought it would look good in a bowl rather than a large plate. After I plated the cauliflower and mushroom mixture, I placed a piece of salmon on top. Then, I scooped some vinaigrette up with a spoon and spread it over everything. Delicious.
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