Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What's for Dinner? Look & See

I didn't know what to call this post, so I just said "look and see".
I hope you're not disappointed.

It's not salmon, but arctic char, which is supposedly a small trout in the salmon family. I like it better than salmon when I can find it.

The fish is roasted in the oven with a coating of olive paste (aka olivada), which you can find in Italian groceries. Not tapenade with garlic, anchovies and the works, but straight pulverized green Italian olives and olive oil. I love it. Here is the easy recipe if you want to make your own.

The nice thing about this dinner is you can change everything around.
You can sub salmon for the arctic char.
You can sub a jar of basil pesto for the olivada.
You can sub grape tomatoes for the cherry tomatoes.
You can sub orzo for the pearl couscous.

Do your own thing.

I served the fish over Israeli couscous (also called pearl couscous), with roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic and kalamata olives. I added some baby arugula leaves for color and good luck.

So, what should we call this? (Cooking on the fly).

How about "Roasted Olivada Char over Israeli Couscous w/ Roasted Tomatoes": (inspired by Dinner with Julie)

2 char or salmon filets (1/2 lb portion per person)
a few tablespoons of green olive paste (you can use prepared pesto too)
1 box of Israeli couscous (also known as pearl couscous)
olive oil
kosher salt
basket of cherry tomatoes
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
handful chopped kalamata olives
handful of baby arugula leaves

In a roasting pan, toss the whole cloves of garlic & the cherry tomatoes w/ olive oil and kosher salt.

Roast for about 20 minutes at 425F until tomatoes are blistering. You can slip off skins later if you like.

Cook the couscous (which is really pasta by the way, not a grain) as per package directions. When the water is absorbed, toss with the roasted cherry tomatoes and garlic and set aside. Once the pasta has cooled a bit, add the arugula leaves.

Spread some olivada or pesto on top of each fish filet and drizzle w/ olive oil. In the same 425F oven, roast the fish for about 10 minutes per inch.

Serve each filet on top of the couscous salad.

This is delicious and so easy! This is great for a crowd too.

Aren't you glad you looked?


Jonny said...

definitely glad I looked! we make something very similar with orzo and a handful of dill and capers - typically with salmon, but totally agree with you about char too - and it's got everything a weeknight meal should have. Great dish and great lighting on the shots!

The Café Sucré Farine said...

Thanks for the education about Arctic Char - I had no idea it was in the salmon family! This looks delicious and the pasta would be great for a summer picnic!

janice15 said...

This looks just yummy I'm always looking for new ways to cook Salmon...I don't know though that I can find the topping you put on it..but we do have this Italian place called Luccas its been here for years..I'm sure they will have something. I love it cause you baked it and that's a good thing..thanks for sharing I love your blog site...I have a new blog I found the inspiration in yours and others so I started my own...

The Healthy Gourmet........................ said...

Anci de pepe works well also, same size as Israeli couscous.

A Feast for the Eyes said...

I'd look at your recipes, no matter what the title is. I loved to prepare grape or golden cherry tomatoes the way that you do. This dinner is right up my alley...all my favorite flavors. Nice!

Kate said...

This is the perfect meal...from my perspective. It looks delicious!

Joanne said...

I remember a few years ago when Whole Foods was really pushing artic char...and the it somehow disappeared...I know I would love this though! Olivada anything makes me happy.

tasteofbeirut said...

i like this meal, especially due to that olive paste (which can easily be made at home) and the arugula in the pasta dish. Yummy~

Ginny Lee said...

we used to be able to trick my daughter into eating salmon by calling it "pink meat", alas, she has wised up. she does love cous cous though. I love, love, love Israeli cous cous--it is so cute! I like the big tapioca too, have you tried that? it's big in Asian desserts, just fun to eat. :)

Proud Italian Cook said...

I make salmon with basil pesto all the time it's so quick and easy and punches up the flavor, never thought of using olive pesto. Another inspiration from Stacey!!

The Japanese Redneck said...

I've seen a lot of those roasted cherry tomatoes lately. Looks good.

Andrea said...

My family loved this! I used salmon, but will find char next time. This is a keeper!!! Thanks your blog!