Entree · Non-vegetarian entree

Salmon with Orzo Pasta

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Today, I have prepared for you my favorite salmon platter – Baked salmon with Orzo pasta! This is a dish that is packed with maximum flavors and requires minimum effort:)

I had never tried salmon until I moved to the United States. I have to admit that I was not a big fan of it in the beginning. I started experimenting with the recipes and came to the realization that this beautiful fish does not need to be smothered in spices to taste good! This can be a tricky fish to cook because if overcooked, it gets chewy and does not taste good.

I love orzo pasta due its versatility and resemblance to rice. I use it in salads, soups and as an entrée. This pasta is very popular in Greece especially, although it is used in other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern nations, and in some parts of Germany as well.

Health benefits of salmon

Salmon is not only tasty but has considerable health benefits when baked, broiled, seared or grilled. It is a rich source of omega 3, which promotes healthy joints and skin, reduces the risk of heart disease and aids in neurological development in unborn children. Atlantic salmon has the highest concentration of omega 3 in the salmon family, at 1.9 grams per 2-oz. fillet. The American Heart Association recommends that adults have two servings of omega 3 per week to maintain optimal health benefits.

Recipe for Salmon

Ingredients                                                           Serving: 1                    Time: 15 minutes

4 oz. fresh salmon fillet (I have used Atlantic salmon in this recipe)

1 tsp. Olive oil

½ tsp. Lemon juice

1 tsp. fresh dill chopped

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Salt to taste

 Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425*F (220*C)
  2. Pat the salmon dry with a paper towel.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over the top of salmon — just enough to coat the salmon — and rub it over the salmon with your fingers or a pastry brush.
  4. Sprinkle the salmon with garlic powder, salt and fresh ground pepper.
  5. Sprinkle chopped dill and red pepper flakes and rub all over.
  6. Place the salmon in the baking tray or roasting pan, skin-side down. Transfer to the oven.
  7. Cook for about 12 minutes (oven temperatures may vary so keep checking after 10 minutes)
  8. You can check the doneness of your salmon with a fork. When the salmon flakes easily with a fork, it’s ready!
  9. Cover the salmon with an aluminum foil and let it rest.

Recipe for Pasta

Ingredients                                                    Servings: 2                            Time: 20 minutes

4 oz. orzo pasta

4 button mushrooms, sliced

1 cup fresh spinach, chopped

2 tsp. olive oil

I garlic clove, chopped fine

¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp. lemon juice

Method

  1. Prepare pasta according to directions on the box.
  2. Drain the pasta and add little olive oil and mix so it does not stick together.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan.
  4. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir; make sure garlic does not burn.
  5. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes.
  6. Add orzo pasta and stir.
  7. Add spinach and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice. Mix well.

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Notes

  • According to the experts, for every ½ inch of thickness of the salmon, cooking time should be around 4-6 minutes.
  • Use any fresh herbs or Italian seasoning in place of dill.
  • I have used fresh spinach but you can use frozen spinach as well. Just thaw and squeeze off some water.
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