I was cleaning out some cabinets in the kitchen the other day and found this recipe that my high school friend Erin sent to me years ago.
I’ve known Erin since we were both 14. I first noticed her in the freshman hallway because she was leaning against my locker flirting with the boy I had a crush on. Later, we ran track together (the boy was eventually forgotten), and many years later I was the maid of honor in her wedding.
Erin remains a talented and dedicated runner and now she is the mom of two boys and just this fall returned to teaching full time. Through it all, she has always paid close attention to what she eats. In high school, she regaled us with unbelievable stories about such things as seaweed soup and carob “chocolate.” These were rare and exotic ideas to me at the time. Erin’s mom, Aubrey, also introduced me to tofu, cooking with maple syrup instead of sugar, and cheese nachos melted in the toaster oven.
After college, Erin and I roomed together for a couple of years in Atlanta until I moved to Boston. We often cooked dinner together and salmon was a regular staple at our table. Even though I don’t see her very often these days, cooking this dish made her feel close. (Hi Erin!)
If you like salmon, this is a simple but delicious meal to make for yourself, or double it if you are including a friend at your table. The pine nuts add a lovely buttery flavor and the feta will melt in a wonderful way.
When selecting your boneless salmon fillet, do try to find wild salmon for reasons explained here.
Roasted Salmon Roll
Serves 1 (this can easily be doubled)
1 salmon fillet
Salt and pepper
1 cup raw spinach
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1/4 cup feta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil.
Remove skin from salmon fillet, wash and pat dry. Rub olive oil onto both sides of fillet, season with salt and pepper.
In a skillet, heat olive oil, about 1 tablespoon. Add spinach, garlic, pine nuts and sauté a few minutes until the spinach is wilted. In a separate bowl, combine the contents of the skillet with the feta cheese. Mix until well combined.
Carefully spread the spinach mixture on the fillet and roll into a tube (any pieces of fish that break off, you can just add to the spinach mixture). You may need to use toothpicks to secure the roll. Carefully lift into pan and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Check the salmon once in awhile and test for tenderness, do not overbake or it will dry out.
Remove from oven and let rest for about 5 minutes.
Serve with a side of brown rice garnished with a sprig of fresh watercress.
Related post: Watermelon, Arugula, Feta, and Pine Nut Salad