Monday, September 14, 2009

Salmon with Dill, Leek, Goat Cheese Orzo: Eat and repeat

It started with a phone conversation with my dad.

“We’re having salmon tonight.” He boasted. “I picked up a gorgeous piece for $14.99 a pound at Santa Monica Seafood.”

Jealousy immediately flared up in the pit of my belly. “That’s nice.” I said agreeably, while I secretly stewed that I would most likely be eating Trader Joes’ meatless meatballs or something equally unexciting at my apartment that night.

We talked about a few other things – I thanked him again for the amazing walnut and pecan turtles from Chocolate Soldier that he bought me for my upcoming birthday, he told me about how he was going to finish the master bathroom he’s refinishing at my home in OC (I tuned out during this part), and then we exchanged our good byes.

Even though the majority of our phone time was spent conversing about other matters, the rest of the day I couldn’t stop thinking about the salmon I was not going to be eating. It’s been so expensive lately, and I never seem to be able to find fresh wild salmon at any of my markets or grocery stores. Yet, when I stopped at Whole Foods on my way home from work later that day, there it was – a beautiful piece of fresh wild salmon for $13.99 a pound.

I squealed louder than any person of the age of 2 should squeal and immediately bought a 1/3rd of a pound. From there, I proceeded directly to the produce section – an idea for a side dish already germinating in my head. Since salmon and dill are best friends forever and I am never one to come between friends, I found a package of fresh dill to use as both a seasoning for my salmon and a key component of the accompanying dish. I went nuts over 101 Cookbooks’ vibrant green beans with leeks and dill this past winter and decided to kick it up a few notches by mixing it with whole wheat orzo, a bit of lemon, and some goat cheese.

The end result was so good that I had to make it again two nights later. You know, because I needed to ensure I was getting plenty of Omega-3s. I actually think I’m feeling a little Omega-3 deficient this week too. And definitely a little dill, leek, green beans, orzo, and goat cheese deficient, as well.
Salmon with Dill, Leek, Goat Cheese Orzo
Serves 1

4-5 ounces salmon
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 small leek, chopped (approximately 1/3 cup)
¼ cup whole wheat orzo
1 cup slightly steamed green beans, cut into 1 each pieces
Chicken broth, water mixture
Salt, pepper

For salmon:
Marinate salmon in 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon wine in small oven-safe baking dish. Sprinkle with some of dill (reserve the rest for the orzo) and season with salt, pepper. Broil in oven approximately 4-5 minutes on each side (depending on thickness) or until reaches desired doneness.

For orzo:
Heat large saucepan over medium. Toast orzo in a little olive oil, add mixture of chicken broth and water (I start with 2 cups), and season with pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer, adding liquid as it needs it. Approximately 10 minutes before orzo is cooked through (will take around 25 minutes total to cook using this method – less if using white instead of wheat orzo), add the leeks. When all the liquid has been absorbed and the orzo is tender, stir in the dill, green beans, tablespoon of white wine, ½ tablespoon lemon juice, and lemon zest. Cook together until all elements are integrated. Serve and top with goat cheese.


Jenn said...

Delicious looking salmon. I could definitely go for that any day. When I was younger I used to have a least a small piece of salmon every other week. I still need to try some orzo. That's one thing I haven't cooked with yet.

Elra said...

Delicious Orzo, serve with delicious salmon. Such a perfect and healthy meal Diana!

Esi said...

LOL, I am so glad you found your salmon and I looove the addition of orzo and goat cheese to the virbant greens recipe. I still haven't been able to find WW orzo at Whole paycheck. Is it only at the one on Fairfax and Santa Monica?

Diana said...

Jenn - I was the same way! Salmon was my favorite dinner for a while. I still love it, but not quite as much as I did when I'd eat it on a weekly basis.

Elra - Thank you!

Esi - The goat cheese worked surprisingly well with it. I wasn't sure I was going to use it, but threw it on at the last minute. I'm really glad I did!

Gastronomer said...

Woman, it's time.

Time for a dinner party. You bring the salmon.

yutjangsah said...

I bought some wild salmon last week from TJs and I just fried it after squeezing some lime onto it. it was the driest most tasteless piece of fish ever. Where was this post then? huh? Three pieces of salmon cost me $14. It hurts!

Ashley said...

love the twist on the vibrant crunchy green beans.

Anna A. said...

Yuuuuuuuuum to the tenth omega power!!! I second the dinner party idea. I'll bring the bread.

Kung Food Panda said...

Mmmmmm...that looks great Diana! Dill and salmon go hand in hand :D

Diana said...

Cathy - Are you going to make that triple berry cake?

Sook - Seafood from TJs is wrong. Just say no.

Ashley - You are partially responsible for this dish -- you were the one who insisted I make the vibrant green beans last winter!

Anna - Made with 15-year-old starter?

Danny - I think Dill and Diana go hand in hand. I want to put it on everything now!

The Duo Dishes said...

The orzo sounds outrageous. It's so easy to make, and the dill and goat cheese give it good flavor.

Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ said...

This looks incredible!! I am really loving that orzo!