Salmon with Quinoa and Parsley Vinaigrette
Salmon is a terrific source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are associated with heart health. Nutrient-dense quinoa has a mild flavor and light, fluffy texture that pairs well with rich salmon and slightly bitter parsley. Both salmon and quinoa are packed with protein and are quick and easy to prepare. Ask your fishmonger for center-cut salmon to ensure the pieces are the same thickness throughout, which will help them to cook evenly.
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) water
- Salt, to taste, plus 1/2 tsp.
- 1 cup (8 oz./250 g) quinoa, rinsed
- 4 salmon fillets, each 4 to 6 oz. (125 to 185 g)
- 2 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste, plus 1/8 tsp.
- 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a saucepan over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Add a big pinch of salt and the quinoa. Return to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until all the water is absorbed, about 12 minutes. Using a fork, fluff the quinoa. Re-cover and let stand for 15 minutes.
Warm a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush the salmon with the 2 tsp. olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Place the salmon, flesh side down, on the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the salmon over and cook until done to your liking, about 4 minutes more for medium. Transfer to a plate.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, the 1/2 tsp. salt and the 1/8 tsp. pepper. Slowly whisk in the 2 Tbs. olive oil and stir in the parsley. Stir 3 Tbs. of the vinaigrette into the quinoa.
Divide the quinoa among 4 warmed plates. Top each with a salmon fillet, drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the top and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Healthy Dish of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014).