Salmon and Freekeh Salad with Sweet Peppers, Dates and Olives
An ongoing series of Blue Apron Recipes. This one can be found here.
Cooking time: 50 to 60 minutes
Calorie count per serving: 810
2 skin-on Salmon Filets
3/4 cup Cracked Freekeh
4 ozs. Sweet Peppers
2 cloves Garlic
4 ozs. fresh Spinach
1 bunch of Oregano
1 bunch of Parsley
2 tablespoons of Roasted Almonds
1 oz. Castelvetrano Olives
1 oz. dried Medjool Dates
1 tablespoon of Salmon Spice Blend (Sumac and Sesame Seeds)
Cook the freekeh:
Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Once boiling add the freekeh and cook, uncovered, 23 to 25 minutes, or until tender. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Set aside in a warm place.
Prepare the ingredients:
While the freekeh cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce.
Finely chop the parsley leaves and steams. Transfer to a bowl.
Pick the oregano leaves off the steams; discard the stems and finely chop the leaves. Transfer to the bowl of parsley.
Quarter and deseed the lemon.
Peel and finely chop the garlic (or use a garlic press).
Cut off and discard the pepper stems; halve lengthwise, then remove and discard the ribs and seeds. Cut the peppers crosswise into 1/4 inch thick pieces.
Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop.
Pit and roughly chop the dates.
Make the sesame salsa verde:
While the freekeh continues to cook, to the bowl of parsley and oregano, add the spice blend, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, up to half the garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the vegetables:
While the freekeh continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot.
Add the peppers and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened.
Add the spinach and remaining garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the spinach is wilted. Turn off the heat and stir in the juice of 1 lemon wedge. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to the pot of cooked freekeh.
Wipe out the pan.
Cook the salmon:
Pat the salmon filets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides.
In the same pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot.
Add the seasoned filets, skinless side down. Cook 4 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until lightly browned. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Turn off the heat.
Finish the freekeh and plate your dish:
While the salmon cooks, to the pot of cooked freekeh and vegetables, add the olives, dates, almonds, the juice of the remaining lemon wedge, and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste.
The freekah was new to both of us. I enjoyed it, especially as it was mixed with many interesting ingredients, and I found it quite tasty.
We both added a few dashes of Sciracha to the Freekah, which gave it a little extra zip. I was careful how much I added as I am not much of a hot sauce person. We both enjoyed the added chopped olives and dates. Gregg also added Teryaki Sauce.
It wasn't called for but we chopped up the almonds to disperse it better throughout.
The salsa verde, I liked it more and Gregg thought it was okay, but he didn't like the addition of the oregano. We could leave that out next time.
It's important for us to note how much we enjoy each meal. The previous one he liked a lot and I didn't, though for the life of me I can't remember what it was now.
I think we have to be careful on the cooking time of the salmon as I felt the four minutes made it a tad overdone.
Gregg decided to forego the salmon. After trying a small piece it was wrapped up and refrigerated and I ate it for lunch the next day.
I guess you could say one thumb's up and one thumb's down on this dish. Most of the time our liking for certain foods is very similar, but there are also areas where our tastes differ, as with this dish.
I was surprised to see how high the calorie count was in one servings, 850 calories, but will factor that in and we can go carefully the rest of the day.
I am not familiar with Sumac (part of the spice blend for the Salsa Verde) and looked it up. If you go to this link you can find that information. It says a good substitute for this spice is lemon zest combined with a little salt.
I will make this again but would put a different fish on the shopping list.