Salmon and Israeli Couscous with Cucumbers

It’s a short week! And a festive one. Salmon might not be at the tip top of your noggin, but I’m slinging it your way anyway!

This is going to be that dinner you remember when you’re under a mountain of Christmas cookies and pies. And you need something a wee bit lighter, and Omega 3-y. And simple, but with a bit of texture and rebellion in it. It’s that.

Let us peepeth.

It’s a three parter, but the parts are a cinch. Like one part is just to combine paper thin slices of crisp red onion and cool cucumber with a splash of red wine vinegar. You can honestly do that with any dinner and snug it up on the plate and there’s a new attitude to the whole thing. It’s wonderful.

But let’s look at the other parts first.

Sliced shallot and chopped garlic. How can you not? Sauté the shallots for a minute or two before you add the garlic. Life smells perfect right now.

Pop the aromatics out and sear the salmon right in the pan. Four minutes on one side, flip her gently, go another three. Salt and pepper. We’re keeping this brilliantly straightforward.

Ah, this part is next! Throw a cup of loose parsley into a small food processor and add the shallot and garlic that you sizzled earlier. Along with all the residual oil. Pinch of salt and blitz that up! I didn’t take a photo but I’m sure you can sort of imagine it. Like a chimichurri but with shallots. You’ll absolutely love it. But we’re not done!

Transfer it back to the skillet on low along with some pine nuts. Give that a wiggle so the pine nuts can toast a little. It is SUCH flavor, I can’t even tell you.

Oh and there’s our cool and crisp side. The vinegar liiiiightly pickles everything and gives it some pizazz. It’s just great.

Did you forget that you’ve boiled some Israeli couscous, because I did. We’ve boiled Israeli Couscous. You can definitely swap in orzo or any other small dainty pasta if you like.

But this is what you get! The cooked couscous (after you cook it drizzle with a little bit of oil), the seared salmon, the pine nut parsley topping, and the onion/cucumber mix. Some zing, some toothy comfort, some toasted-ness, the flaky salmon. It’s all there, really.

And listen, the red wine vinegar is going to give it all a little acidic kick in the pants, but if you need to grab a lemon and finish with a final squeeze, that’s genius too. Just make it all work for you, okay?

And put down the cookie.

Just kidding finish the cookie.

Just so good. Make it soon!

Salmon and Couscous
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup Israeli Couscous
  • 2 (4 oz) salmon fillets
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup loose parsley
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced cucumber
  • 3 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 2 oz pine nuts
  • Coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil. Add the couscous and boil until toothy and tender, anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Save a little bit of the pasta water, drain the rest, and pour the water back in the couscous to coat.
  2. At the same time, heat a medium skillet over medium. Add 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil, chopped garlic and sliced shallots to the skillet and let that sizzle and sauté a few minutes, until everything takes on a light golden brown color. Take it off the heat and add it to a mini food processor with the parsley, the residual oil and a pinch of salt. Blitz this until it’s almost like a chimichurri, just a few seconds.
  3. Back in the pan, sear the salmon fillets for four minutes per side, until seared and flaky throughout. Remove the fish from the pan and add the parsley mix to it, along with the pinenuts. Sauté this for 2-3 minutes, until the pine nuts toast and turn golden brown.
  4. In the meantime, combine the onion, cucumber and red wine vinegar in a bowl to marinate.
  5. Serve the couscous topped with the salmon, the pine nut topping and the marinated onions and cucumber. Delish.
  6. Serves two!
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https://bevcooks.com/2021/12/salmon-and-israeli-couscous-with-cucumbers/

Christmas week and I’m giving you salmon, HA HA HA. Don’t hate me.

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6 Responses to Salmon and Israeli Couscous with Cucumbers

  1. Kristin December 21, 2021 at 8:48 am #
    We were going to have halibut for New Year's, but maybe we need to have this salmon. No matter what, this salmon is happening soon in this house. We did Sitka Salmon Shares this year (doing it next year too, because holy cow what good fish!), so we have some salmon to use up!
  2. The Kitten Abides December 21, 2021 at 10:17 am #
    I love this idea for either Christmas Eve - as my Better Half won't be making his traditional Christmas Eve seafood gumbo . . . but for New Year's with some Hoppin' John might work well also. A GREAT use for that great Costco salmon!
  3. TheKittenAbides December 21, 2021 at 10:18 am #
    I love this idea for either Christmas Eve - as my Better Half won't be making his traditional Christmas Eve seafood gumbo . . . but for New Year's with some Hoppin' John might work well also. A GREAT use for that great Costco salmon!
  4. Henry January 2, 2022 at 11:39 am #
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. I will make this recipe today as my wife wants something unique to eat (Yes, I cook?). All set for the dinner tonight.

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