As I've mentioned before I'm not a fish eater, but we are trying to incorporate it into our weekly menus. I find that if I have a good "sauce" to go over the fish, I can usually eat it no problem. And no bones. If it has bones, or I find one while eating, my throat tends to close up, my fork goes down and I'm finished eating.
I chose this dish out of the Williams-Sonoma Salad cookbook because it sounded healthy and didn't seem to take a lot of work to make. And it had bacon so I figured it would make the salmon easier to eat. Since I didn't have any bacon handy I ended up using some pancetta which I had. The pancetta was sliced pretty thin. Pancetta is pretty salty so regular bacon might be better. I had a little less than a third of a pound of the stuff so I put it all in.
Though I liked the spicy touch the arugula gave the salad and thought it went well with the balsamic sauce, I wouldn't go out of my way getting it next time to make this dish. I 'd just use salad greens I had on hand.
Mr. L really liked this dish. It wasn't heavy and made a perfect summer salad. We used it as a main dish. Truth be told, I really liked this too. The salmon wasn't fishy, the "sauce" went well with the lettuce. I ate the whole thing and didn't even flinch (okay, not too much anyway) when I found a bone towards the end of the meal (trust me, if there was a bone in a fish, it would end up in the fish that was on my plate).
ROASTED SALMON WITH CRUMBLED BACON AND ARUGULA
4 slices bacon
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 salmon fillets, each about 1/2 lb and 1/2-3/4 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cups young, tender arugula (rocket) leaves
2 cups torn red-leaf lettuce leaves (bite-sized pieces)
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. In a frying pan over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Let cool, then crumble and set aside.
Pour off all but about 1 tablespoon of the Bacon drippings and return the pan to medium-low heat. Add the shallot and saute for 1-2 minutes, then raise the heat to medium-high. Add the vinegar and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the chicken broth, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for a minute or two. Whisk in the olive oil. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
Cut the salmon fillets in half and rub the pieces on both sides with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly oil a baking dish large enough to accommodate the salmon fillets in a single layer and place them in the prepared dish. Roast in the oven until just opaque when pierced at the center, 13-15 minutes.
While the fish is cooking, divide the arugula and lettuce among individual salad plates, and drizzle with all but 2 tablespoons of the balsamic mixture. When the fish is ready, place a portion on each plate, drizzle with the remaining balsamic mixture, and top evenly with the crumbled bacon. Serve at once. Makes 4 servings.
Variation Tip: For an Italian accent, instead of bacon, use snippets of crisp prosciutto, accomplished by barely sauteing thing strips in a little olive oil.
Note: I used Coho wild caught salmon which was about $12.99 a pound. I used pancetta instead of bacon.
This was actually very good and would make a nice summer brunch salad.