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Cumin Salmon with Lemon-Cilantro Dressing!

2011 August 25
by Dylan

Wow, it sure has been a while! Nearly a month and a half, but who’s counting?  Anyways, I thought I’d come back in a BIG way–3 separate recipes amounting to an incredible dinner, and a healthy one at that! Besides the salmon, I also made curried carrots and za’atar-infused quinoa. If you don’t know what za’atar is, read on to find out. Click the link for tons of pictures and the recipes!

Let’s start things off easy–curried carrots. Super easy and wonderfully delicious. Oh yeah, and only four ingredients, to boot!

Roasted Curry Carrots

  • Curry Powder (I prefer Madras)
  • Garam Masala
  • Olive Oil (not extra virgin)
  • Baby Carrots
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Then, you’ll want to cut the carrots in half–just like the picture below. I know it’s an ultra-tedious task, especially for the lazy, but if I can get through it, you have no excuse.

See how thoughtful I am? I included some pictures of both whole and halved carrots, just for your viewing pleasure. Hell, check out that cutting board! My return to blogging warranted use of the super-nice one.

Once you’ve cut all the carrots in half, you’ll want to throw them in a large Ziploc baggy. Throw in some curry powder (I used 1 or 2 tablespoons) and a dash of garam masala. Pour in 2T of olive oil or so, and seal the bag. Shake it up until everything is coated–you know, just like that horrible breading  mixture made by Kraft. Wait, I own stock in them–you should probably buy that mixture, I’m sure it’s wonderful (har har)!

Once everything is coated, pour the carrots into a pan lined with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the carrots are fully cooked through. Your mixture should look something like the picture below–I know it’s not pretty, but it sure is delicious!

Alright, so…I may have lied. It actually gets even easier! Quinoa is an incredibly healthy grain and is vastly superior to rice in terms of taste (my opinion) and nutrition (fact).

Za’atar-Infused Quinoa

  • Quinoa
  • Za’atar
  • Olive Oil
I only used about 1/4 cup of quinoa, which yields about a cup once it’s cooked. It’s made just like rice–pour the quinoa and 1/2 cup of water into a pot and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is translucent. Seriously, that’s it.
Once it’s cooked, you’ll need to grab your za’atar. Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mix of varying herbs, the most notable of which is sumac. Sumac has a very, very distinct taste and without it, za’atar would never taste the same! Here’s a picture of what it looks like–keep in mind, it may be tough to find but is totally worth the search:

Anyways, back to the cooking thing–fluff up the quinoa with a fork, and add a couple tablespoons of za’atar and a teaspoon or so of olive oil. Mix it all together. The flavors really are incredible, and definitely worth the thirty seconds or so that it took to mix them up!
Alright, now that the side dishes are done, I guess it’s time for the main course (and likely the recipe you’ve been waiting for)! This is pretty easy to make and requires minimal effort, but the taste is sure to impress anyone who tries it!
Cumin-Rubbed Salmon (see below for dressing recipe)
  • Cumin
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • Salmon (duh)
So, I’ve sort of laid out the ingredient in the picture above–you’ll want to sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper on the salmon, and then mix up the cumin and cayenne pepper. This didn’t have much of a kick in the end, but I’m guessing the spice was neutralized by the acidity of the lemon (more on that later). Anyways, once you’ve mixed up the spices, you’ll want to rub/massage them into the salmon, on both sides. Then, you’ll want to place it in a small glass dish, preferably lined with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes or so at 400° F.
If you’re following me exactly, you can make it at the same time as the carrots–how convenient is that? Here’s what the salmon should look like, prior to it’s journey into the oven:
While that’s cooking, it would probably be a really good idea to make the dressing. It’s also delicious, by the way…sort of like everything I make. Coincidence? I think not.
Lemon-Cilantro Dressing
  • Lemon Juice
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Cilantro
So…that’s a picture of the greatest herb in the world–cilantro. You’ll want to use it here…and a lot of it, at that. Grab a bunch of cilantro and rip off a healthy-sized handful. Finely chop it, either in a food processor or with a nice, large knife. Put it in a bowl and pour in some olive oil (a couple tablespoons) and a good squeeze of lemon juice (I was too lazy to juice my own). Wisk it together. BOOM, there’s your dressing. Pretty easy, right?
That’s the finished product in the picture above. I actually ended up using my roommate’s olive oil–I’m guessing he won’t mind, but hey probably won’t even know until [if] he reads this blog post. I hope to get a lot of shit for it…hopefully. ANYWAYS, pour the dressing on the salmon and serve it with the quinoa and carrots.
That’s it! Pretty easy, right? For about 30 minutes of your time you end up with a healthy, gourmet, and absolutely delicious dinner. Enjoy!
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