God I love Jamie Oliver. I wish we were friends. His books, shows, and magazine have been up on my favourites lists since the first episode of the Naked Chef. The recipes are simple, uncomplicated, wholesome, delicious and most of all, actually turn out better than anticipated with room for personal experimentation. Oliver is also the main motivation (Thomas Keller and Martha Stewart in 2nd and 3rd place) behind my organic culinary garden and compost.
Last night I had 4 beautiful fillets of wild Tasmanian salmon and was in Happy Chef mode. With shelves of cookbooks, naturally the first place I turned to were the salmon specific and seafood books. eh. uninspiring. Oh! and forget about the diet and Diabetes cookbooks- No wonder diets fail for so many people. Cardboard is more appealing than some of these “Healthy Recipes”! Then I asked myself, “What would Jamie Oliver do with salmon?” with a follow up statement, “I bet Jamie Oliver would add bacon to salmon”. The first cookbook I reached for was Happy Days with the Naked Chef, 2001. Low and behold, a quick, uncomplicated salmon dish on page 59: “Seared Salmon with Radicchio, Pancetta, Pinenuts and Balsamic Vinegar”. Before listing my version of this divine recipe, allow me to suggest that every Primal Blueprint and Paleo cook invest in Jamie Oliver cookbooks. He has so many recipes already following or are easily adjustable to become Primal, one book is a goldmine of healthy Flavourgasm.
Bee’s take on Jamie Oliver’s Seared Salmon with Radicchio, Pancetta, Pinenuts and Balsamic Vinegar:
Salmon with Salad of Baby Greens, Pinenuts, Bacon, and Balsamic Vinegar
- 4, 6-8oz fillets of wild salmon. Farmed is ok, and fine if that’s the only thing available, but just not as flavourful
- Baby greens with kale and red cabbage. I used a store bought Lazy Bastard Bagged Salad. I know, I’m so ashamed Jamie! Buying each of the mentioned greens separately IS actually better.
- Fresh basil or marjoram. I used basil
- 1-2 handfuls of pinenuts, toasted
- 2 rashers of bacon or pancetta, sliced thinly into julienne style strips
- plum tomatoes, cut in half
- cracked pepper
- sea salt. I used a custom blended Merlot infused sea salt.*
- Balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper to taste, set aside. Heat a pan on high, dry toast pinenuts, set aside. In same pan, cook bacon bits/strips until crispy, set aside, leaving about 2 tbsp of the bacon fat still in the pan. Place salmon, meat side down first, into the pan. Turn heat down to medium, cook until just pink in the middle. Remember to flip to the skin side for even cooking and also lovely and attractive crispiness. The bacon fat adds amazing flavour to the salmon. Drizzle with lemon when serving.
In salad bowl combine baby greens, kale, and red cabbage. (If using lazy bastard bagged salad, about 2/3 of the bag is perfect for 4 people) Add tomatoes, bacon, and pinenuts, finish with light drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil, mix and serve.
This meal is not only delicious and quick to prepare, it is full of antioxidants and important nutrients.
Total cost: $31 (serving 4 people) or $7.75/person
*This is a great post on how to make infused salts: http://steamykitchen.com/125-making-your-own-flavored-salts.html I will have to try some of the mentioned flavours like Szechuan pepper infused sea salt!