En español | When winter's first snow fell, we loved the rich stews and comfort food by the fireside. But now we're embracing spring, and my winter version of a boiled dinner — corned beef and cabbage — feels heavy. The solution? Exchange lighter salmon for beef and seasonal spinach for cabbage: the perfect boiled dinner for spring.
My recipe for Salmon Bowl With Spring Vegetables has so much going for it. To start, nutrient-rich salmon, considered a "superfood," has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. And preparation is super quick. Unlike tough beef brisket, which needs hours of simmering to get tender, a salmon fillet cooks to perfection in just five minutes. Compared with cabbage wedges that typically cook for a half-hour or more, spinach wilts in just one minute. If you halve the carrots lengthwise, you can cut their cooking time in half and preserve their lovely shape. I also use small potatoes — the smaller the better — and halve them, too.
Once the broth comes to a simmer, the vegetables cook in 10 minutes; you add the salmon halfway through. (Seasonal wild salmon, often leaner than farmed salmon, is plentiful and widely available this time of year, so seek it out.) Plate it up and return the hot skillet to the burner. Add garlic and then spinach, and your meal is ready a minute later.
Last night my husband, David, and I went out for a quick predinner drink. Before we left, I cooked this salmon recipe, arranging the colorful array on two soup plates. When we got home, I warmed them in the microwave and brought the broth to a simmer on the stovetop. Within five minutes, we were enjoying a gorgeous, healthy supper. After dinner David said, "I could eat this nearly every night."
He wouldn't really want to, of course. It was just his way of saying that spring tastes so very good.
Salmon Bowl With Spring Vegetables
- 2 center-cut salmon fillets (about 12 ounces)
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 2 cups chicken broth or fish stock
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 4 large shallots, peeled and left whole
- 8 ounces (8 to 10) small new or fingerling potatoes, halved
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 packed cups baby spinach
Sprinkle both sides of salmon with salt and pepper. Bring chicken broth, carrots, shallots and potatoes to boil in a covered, heavy-bottomed large skillet. Reduce heat to low; continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add salmon; cover and continue to cook until salmon is just cooked through and vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer vegetables to each of 2 soup plates and pour broth into a Pyrex measuring cup, adding water, if necessary, to equal 1 cup.
Return skillet to burner; add oil and garlic; heat until garlic starts to sizzle. Add spinach and cook, seasoning lightly with salt and pepper, until just wilted, about a minute. Transfer spinach to each plate, tucking it under salmon. (If broth has cooled, heat it in the microwave.) Pour hot broth over each portion and serve with lemon wedges.
AARP food expert Pam Anderson is a best-selling cookbook author and blogger at threemanycooks.com.
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