Can we talk about fish? Fish intimidates me. My cooking history is riddled with fish mishaps. There was the time I cooked some salmon filets in a hot pan, resulting in a stove spattered with indelible drops of oil and a kitchen that reeked for days. There was the time I stashed a whole dorade at the bottom of the fridge, only to discover it a week later — from the smell. I could go on and on.
And so, when Kerrin Rousset of the blog My Kugelhopf sent me her favorite fast recipe for roasted salmon and winter vegetables, my palms started to sweat. Considering my fish phobia, could I do her dish justice? As it turned out, all I needed was a hot oven and a little confidence.
Kerrin lives in Switzerland, where she makes a living out of all things sweet: she offers tours of chocolate shops (and more) through her company, Sweet Zürich. She launched the Salon du Chocolat in Zürich, now in its third year. She writes about sweets on her popular blog, My Kugelhopf. And she lives with her very sweet family: her French husband and their young daughter. Today, I’m delighted to share Kerrin’s quick cooking tips, and a wholesome recipe that will help leave room for dessert.
Her favorite fast meal? Salad
My husband and I could literally have salad every night and it would be different each time. Mâche is our favorite lettuce and we’ll build from there: avocado, cherry tomatoes, white beans, corn, radishes… tuna, sardines, smoked turkey or leftover roasted veggies. We love adding fruit — depending on the season, that could be pears, persimmon, peaches, figs (fresh or dried), or just raisins to add sweetness. Sweet mustard, oil and fleur de sel are all i need to dress a salad, but I do love playing with different oils, too — especially walnut and argan.
On dressing up eggs:
I always have eggs in the fridge for a quick omelet (or matzoh brei). Any leftover vegetables in the fridge go right in for a filling frittata. I love adding chick peas and currants too.
On the beauty of a cooking in advance:
Making a big tray of roasted vegetables and/or a large portion of cooked grains early in the week makes lunches and dinners for the next few days so much easier and faster to prepare. Salad, soup, omelet — you’re already halfway done.
On her favorite pantry staples:
Chick peas. White beans. Sardines. Pasta. Mason jars filled with various seeds, grains and dried fruit. Countless jars of jam and honey, too. Not to mention my most important staples of all: dark chocolate and medjool dates.
Roasted salmon with root vegetables and chick peas
By Kerrin Rousset
“Tuesday is market day,” says Kerrin, “Usually by that afternoon I’ll have roasted a big tray of vegetables. Throwing a piece of fish on top, and serving with fresh bread makes for a fast, easy and healthy dinner. Something we do quite often during the week.”
*Note from Ann: Kerrin’s recipe is very flexible and you can use the vegetables in season at your market — I roasted a huge quantity of kabocha squash, parsnips, potatoes, broccoli and garlic. Her method for cooking salmon is foolproof, and I removed my filet from the oven a little early and let it finish cooking while resting. Also, I roasted the salmon over only a small portion of the veg, so the remainder wouldn’t get fishy. Finally, instead of sweet mustard, I smeared my filet with a little Sriracha — it’s the same idea, right?
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Roughly chop (peeled) butternut squash, sweet potato, carrots, parsnips and onion. Toss with a spoon or two of olive oil (depending how much veg you have) and lay out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 20 minutes. Toss and continue roasting for 20 minutes. The vegetables should be soft and caramelized — if not, continue roasting. Mix in a can of drained chick peas. Spread a spoonful of sweet mustard on top of each salmon filet and sprinkle with a few pinches of sumac. Place filets on top of vegetables and put back in oven for 10 minutes. Turn off oven and watch salmon. Take out as soon as it starts to flake. When serving, top fish with a few drops of olive oil and fleur de sel. Bon appétit !
(All non-salmon photos from Kerrin Rousset.)