They say that people in the Mediterranean live longer because of their diet, largely comprising of fish, vegetables and good olive oil. I actually believe this can also be attributed to the fact that they don’t stress about the preparation of their meals. This Mediterranean Salmon inspired beauty was just that. Low stress with a few key ingredients, a tray and an oven. A time poor, diet conscious persons dream, low in carbs and protein packed without compromising on flavour. Woohooo!!
Prep time: 20 Minutes Cooking time: 35-40 Minutes $$ Medium Budget
4 x 150gm Salmon fillets, skinned and boned
1/2 a small cauliflower, cut into florets
2 baby or 1 large fennel bulb, cut into wedges
1 red onion, peeled and cut into wedges
1 large lemon, zest grated and then cut into wedges
1 tsp of chilli flakes
4 fresh bay leaves, scrunched in your hand to release the oils
16 kalamata olives (I prefer to use seeds in for max flavour when baking)
4 sprigs of fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Line a large baking tray (I used the grill tray out of my oven) with baking paper. To prevent juices getting on the tray I place two sheets of baking paper back to back and then fold sharply a couple of times before opening out into one large sheet. Place the fennel wedges, cauliflower, red onion and bay leaves on the tray. Drizzle with half of the olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle over half of the lemon zest, the chilli flakes, half the dill and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemon wedges, reserving two for the salmon, over the vegetables and dot them around the tray. Place the tray in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the veggies are starting to soften and become golden on the edges.
While the veggies are cooking, drizzle a little oil over the salmon and sprinkle with the remaining lemon zest. When the veggies are done, drizzle the salmon with the remaining lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. You don’t want to do this too early as it actually starts the cooking process with the salmon, drawing out moisture. Place the salmon on top of the vegetables, scatter over the olives and bake for a further 15 minutes.
To serve, divide the vegetables between four serving plates and top with the salmon fillets. Drizzle over any remaining olive oil and garnish with the remaining fresh dill. Serve with a crisp green salad or steamed beans.
Leftover Fennel? Perhaps you might like to cook this one for dinner tomorrow night…..