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a yummy substitute for maccas: healthy and indulgent salmon (inspired by jamie oliver)

I was Googling the benefits of salmon prior to writing this column. It seems there is no end to goodness that can be obtained from our fishy friends; Omega-3 fatty acids (this helps lower your cholesterol, among other things), vitamins A and D (these vitamins help our brain function and improve our memories). Salmon also speeds up our metabolisms, is a natural anti-depressant, lowers blood pressure and gives you shiny hair and healthy skin. I love reading this kind of information about my favourite foods; it makes me feel so good about eating them. I know what I’m putting in my body is going to benefit me in a multitude of ways.

But! How to make it delicious?

By doing very little to it. In fact, my favourite way to have salmon is raw, with a little soy sauce and wasabi. The flavour, the texture… It. Is. Exquisite.

It also tastes sensational smoked, fried, grilled and baked. One can buy salmon without having a specific plan on how to cook it as it can be prepared any way you like and goes with several other foods, such as steamed greens or mashed potato (you can substitute the potato for cannellini beans, this is a fabulous alternative if you are watching what you eat but don’t want to give up eating your favourite indulgences).

The recipe below is inspired by Jamie Oliver and his attitude towards food (not the least of which is liberal amounts of olive oil and garlic). It only uses one pot (I love recipes like that) and takes very little time to prepare and cook). It is filling and very good for you, a perfect summer dinner!

Ingredients:

2 salmon steaks (approximately 175g each)
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
3 handfuls of green beans, trimmed
1 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed
1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
4 strips of prosciutto
1 handful of pine nuts
1 lemon, halved
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees (celsius).

2. Pour a decent splash of olive oil in a medium sized baking tray. Add your beans, tomatoes, garlic and a couple of pinches of salt and a few twists of pepper (depending on personal taste).

3. Then, nestle your salmon steaks in with the vegetables. Drape the prosciutto over the salmon so it is covered. Sprinkle over the pine nuts and place your lemon halves at either end of the tray. Add a little more olive oil then cover the tray with foil.

4. Bake for ten minutes, and then remove from oven. Place the asparagus in the tray, ensuring they are moistened with the oil (you don’t want dried out asparagus, it tastes pretty bad). Return to the oven without the foil and cook for a further 5 minutes.

5. Remove from the oven. The lemon will have caramelised now, squeeze its juice all over the salmon and vegetables.

Serve immediately.

Serves 2.

By Emma Robinson

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