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Herbed salmon with couscous salad !

On a typical weeknight, I’m on the hunt for quick and healthy dinner options. Salmon is one of my go-to dishes. It’s easy to prepare and is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and selenium. Looking to step things up from plain old grilled salmon, I stumbled upon this super-flavorful Herbed Salmon recipe. It can only be improved upon by serving alongside my homemade Couscous Salad!

To start, prepare the couscous. I prefer pearled couscous, which is larger than the quick cooking variety, less grainy and has a totally decadent texture since it’s cooked similar to risotto. (The water is slowly absorbed and then you set it aside for a couple more minutes to let it fully finish.) Follow the instructions on the couscous box to make 2 finished cups.

Next, chop up a cup of vegetables for the Couscous Salad. I like to add baby cucumbers for crunch and tomatoes for sweetness, but customize to fit your taste preferences and the season. Keep that knife handy to chop up a mix of herbs: thyme, chives and dill for the butter mixture. Any fresh herbs you have on hand like mint, basil or oregano would be fine to use as well.
After the couscous has cooled completely, use a fork to fluff up the grains. Then, gently fold in your vegetables, squeeze a lemon wedge over it and drizzle lightly with olive oil. This can be set aside until ready to serve.

At this point, it’s time to preheat your oven to 350° for the salmon. Using the back of a wooden spoon, combine the butter with the lemon zest and herbs. If you don’t mind getting a bit messy, use your hands to mash everything together! Since your hands are toasty, they will help the butter will soften quickly. Evenly spread the top of your salmon fillets with the butter blend.
Get your cast iron pan nice and hot over medium heat and sear the salmon, herb-side down in the pan. The cast iron helps the fish to get a really nice golden, crispy crust. After you flip the salmon, squeeze lemon juice over it. This will give the salmon a tangy and bright flavor.
Transfer the whole pan to the oven to bake. My fish took about 7 more minutes to cook through. You can check it with a fork—once it flakes it’s done.
This cooking method of cooking on the stove top then transferring to the oven is one of my favorite ways to cook proteins. You get a nice restaurant-quality crust and it’s hard to overcook because you are finishing it in the oven at a lower temperature. This method is great for steaks.

Once the salmon is done, serve it over the couscous salad. This is one of the most flavorful salmon dishes I’ve ever cooked, and I highly recommend keeping it your recipe collection. It’s a delicious dinner that can be on the table in under 30 minutes.

Herbed Salmon

Serves: 4
1 pound skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions
1 lemon
1 tablespoon snipped fresh dillweed
1 tablespoon snipped fresh tarragon or lemon thyme
1 tablespoon snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley or bias-sliced chives
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter, softened
Lemon peel and fresh herbs (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Rinse fish; pat dry. Shred 1 teaspoon of peel from lemon; set aside. Cut lemon in half; juice half the lemon. In a small bowl combine lemon peel, snipped herbs, salt, pepper, and butter; stir to combine. Spread evenly on the salmon.
  2. Heat a 12-inch nonstick oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add salmon, herb side down. Cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Turn salmon; pour lemon juice over salmon. Place pan in oven and bake for 3 to 7 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  3. Transfer salmon to serving plates; drizzle with pan juices. Top with additional shredded lemon peel and snipped fresh herbs.

Couscous Salad

Serves: 4
2 cups cooked pearl couscous
1/2 cup diced cucumbers
1/2 cup diced baby tomatoes
1 lemon wedge
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper
  1. Combine couscous and vegetables in a bowl. Squeeze lemon wedge over and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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