To go along with the celebration of American Heart Month, we decided to create a healthy, yet tasty dish. Our main dish was roasted salmon with a shallot grapefruit sauce, and we decided to kick it up a notch and include a side order of watercress salad with grapefruit, olives, and fried sage.
According to the American Heart Association, fish should be eaten twice a week as part of a healthy diet. Loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and protein, salmon has been shown to benefit everything from cholesterol to brain function. Combine this with the healthy citrus power of grapefruit, throw in a little ginger and honey, and you have a delicious and healthy meal everyone will enjoy.
For those that find the flavor of grapefruit a little overpowering, I would recommend cutting the segments into smaller pieces, maybe one inch or smaller. The sauce is delectable but deceivingly rich, a little goes a long way. And while the directions don’t state this, wrapping the salmon in foil to bake will help it from drying out and give you a few extra minutes to finish cooking your sauce.
If you have trouble finding watercress you can substitute with arugula. For those of you on the east coast or in the south you can find watercress at most grocery stores and markets. We are not as lucky in the Northwest. This salad is a wonderful blend of ingredients and a nice twist on a tradition dinner or garden salad. One word of warning however is that fresh sage (especially fried) is very strong; set it to the side and let your diners add to taste.
Roasted Salmon with Shallot Grapefruit Sauce Ingredients
- 4 skinless salmon fillets, 5 to 6 ounces each
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2 ruby red grapefruits
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 1/2 teaspoons honey
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced basil leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Season the salmon with 1/4 teaspoon salt, place in a baking dish and roast until cooked through, about 18 minutes.
3. While the salmon is cooking prepare the sauce. Cut 1 of the grapefruits into sections by cutting off the top and bottom of the fruit, then standing it on 1 end, cut down the skin to remove the pith and peel. Then, with a paring knife, remove each segment of fruit from its casing and cut the segments in half. Set the segment pieces aside. Juice the other grapefruit and set the juice aside.
4. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the shallot and saute until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the ginger, grapefruit juice, honey, and cayenne pepper and bring to simmer. Cook until sauce is reduced by about half about, 10 minutes. Add lemon juice and season with salt, to taste. Right before serving, toss the grapefruit pieces and basil into the sauce. Put the salmon onto a serving dish. Spoon sauce over the salmon and serve.
Watercress Salad with Grapefruit, Olives, and Fried Sage Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup fresh sage leaves
- 1 grapefruit, peel and pith cut off
- 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons garlic cloves, crushed with the flat side of a large knife
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 bunch watercress (4 ounces), tough stems discarded
- 1/4 cup brine-cured green olives, pitted
1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add sage, and turn with a wooden spoon to coat in oil. Cook until crisp but not brown, about 30 seconds. Immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.
2. Set a fine sieve over a bowl. Working over sieve to catch juices in bowl, cut grapefruit segments from membranes, letting them fall into sieve. Squeeze remaining juice from membranes through sieve into bowl. Coarsely chop or break grapefruit segments into 1-inch pieces.
3. Stir together 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice, the vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Whisking constantly, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a slow, steady stream and then whisk until emulsified.
4. Just before serving, remove garlic from vinaigrette. Toss watercress with grapefruit, olives, and vinaigrette. Garnish with sage leaves.