Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Is it Spring yet?

Well, no.  Even though our temps came close to 60-degrees today, snow and freezing temperatures are predicted for tomorrow.  Are you kidding?

I'm tired of oven roasts, braises, soups, stews and root vegetables. Mind you, I like all that stuff, but I am ready for a change.  Spring salmon, asparagus, rhubarb, baby vidalias, strawberries ... bring 'em on!!!

Such was my mood today when I perused Whole Paycheck Foods in search of dinner for tonight. 

I wasn't very PC about what I bought.  I came home with King salmon (wild, but previously frozen) and zucchini (from Chile - ouch).  Uh, Liz -- aren't you a proponent of food that is local and sustainable?  What were you thinking?

What I was thinking was cedar-planked salmon and my favorite no-brainer baked zucchini.  Come on folks, it's Monday night.  Cut me a break here!

So that was dinner.  Along with some leftover penne with pesto that we ordered from http://www.zifty.com/ last night when I was too tired to cook after our drive home from Durham.  Tonight may have been one of those Monday-night-we-have-to-slop-the-hogs dinners, but it wasn't bad.  In fact, it was quite good.  Try it yourself when salmon and zucchini are actually in season.


1 cedar plank (available here at Whole Foods)
Salmon fillets, skinned and boned
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Soak plank in water for at least 30 minutes, more if possible.  (I soaked mine for 2 hours)

Brush salmon with olive oil, then season generously with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill to high heat.  Place soaked plank over coals, close lid and wait for 5 minutes or just until smoke starts to form.  Place salmon on plank, close grill lid and cook for 5 minutes.

Remove plank to an ovenproof baking sheet and let sit for a minute or two for smoke to subside before you bring it into your house.  (Otherwise, your smoke alarm will go off and the fire trucks will show up.  Trust me, I know about this).

Note:  this is even better if you serve it with grilled lemons and limes.  Just cut the desired number into halves, brush with olive oil and grill briefly (about 5 minutes over hot coals).  They emerge juicy, fragrant and perfect with your salmon.


6 zucchini, halved lengthwise then sliced into 1/4-inch half moons
1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 28-oz. can diced San Marzano tomatoes, drained
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with olive oil or baking spray.  Place half of zucchini in pan then layer over half of the sliced onion.  Crumble 1 teaspoon of the oregano over and season well with salt and pepper.  Scatter half of the tomatoes over and sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Repeat layers.

If you want to add some extra flavor and calories, drizzle with the olive oil.  (I don't).  Bake for 45 minutes or until bubbling and top is lightly browned.

Serves 6-8.

Of course, if you are me, you will enjoy it with your salmon and then you will eat it the next day for breakfast.  But hey -- that's just me!

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