Friday, July 20, 2012

FFwD: Salmon with Basil Tapenade

Salmon with Basil Tapenade
Anyone who knows me, and even any one who has read this blog knows that fish and I just don't get along.  I don't mean from a cooking standpoint, I mean I just can't seem to find fish that I like the taste of.  It always, or nearly always, tastes, well-fishy.  I don't know how else to describe it.  Over the years I have managed to find out that I like crab and lobster, but even shrimp are a no-go.  That one is primarily due to my 10th grade biology teacher who lovingly called them the "cockroaches of the sea".  Scarred for life, I tell you.   Perhaps it is also the fact that my father tortured me (Dad, I say this with love) with long days of fishing any chance he got in the summer, and some times even ice fishing on Lake St. Clair in winter.  I think it would have been fine if we had ever caught anything, but inevitably we would come home empty handed.  I think about friends of mine with children and their constantly shifting attention spans and wonder how I ever survived these episodes from my own childhood. 

 Anyway, my husband really likes salmon, so when a friend of ours was coming over for dinner the other night I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to serve something different from the usual chicken or beef or pasta entrees we usually serve.  Both of them loved this.  I have to say, cooking it was a breeze.  I did use a store-bought tapenade that had a healthy dose of garlic rather than making it myself.  I served the salmon on a bed of spinach and grape tomatoes sauteed with some olive oil, garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper.  Stuffing the tapenade in to the fish was a bit of a challenge mainly because I had never done this before, and I am still not sure I followed the directions properly but it all seemed to go well, regardless.  

Our friend Nikki thought the flavors were unexpected, mainly because she thought the tapenade would be overly salty.  Not so, apparently, and she and Edmund both loved the sauce.  Edmund was particularly surprised by this because he is not a huge fan of olives.  I used a combination of fresh mint (growing in vast quantities in the flower bed on the side of our house) and fresh basil (growing in pots just outside the kitchen door), and both of my guinea pigs really enjoyed the blend of flavors.  The mint apparently cut the saltiness of the olives quite nicely, and overall the dish seemed well-seasoned.  I think this could become a "do something nice for the ball and chain" type of meal in the months to come. 

Hope you all have a great weekend.  See you next week.  Up next for French Fridays-lemon barley pilaf. 

10 comments:

  1. I was the guinea pig and I want to add that it was amazing - fish done right is fantastic - we will just have to keep experimenting until we find one you like Scott !

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  2. I like the idea of the spinach and tomatoes, sounds like a great combo. We enjoyed this
    recipe, and will definitely do a repeat. Stuffing it was a bit much, and I'm wondering if
    just topping it would work as well. Great photo.

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  3. That is a very pretty plate of food. Those are two lucky guinea pigs you've got there. Good for you for trying the recipe, even though you aren't a fish fan. Have you tried sea scallops? They aren't fishy, and when they're done right, they're sweet and meaty.

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  4. My dad used to take me fishing, but fortunately it was at our camp where I could escape when I was done :-)
    Agreed - I don't like fishy fish either.
    This looks lovely!

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  5. My guinea pig, I mean husband, really enjoyed this too as he loves olives. Me not so much but you are right about how the mint really added a depth of flavor to this. I'll definitely be putting it on my do something nice for the ball and chain list too! lol.

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  6. my son can't find a fish he likes either, so I made this on a night that he wasn't joining us for dinner. I am glad you had guinea pigs to enjoy the salmon. Looks great!

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  7. I love how you describe this dish at the end of the post. I'm going to have to try this with mint some time. Next year, I'll have to plant some, I think.

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  8. Your salmon looks great! What did you eat while your guinea pigs were devouring this beautiful dish??

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  9. I can't imagine not loving salmon, but I'm sure you had an equally delicious alternate dish for dinner. I will have to try the mint next time. You make it sound like a lovely choice.

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  10. I had never heard the expression," "do something nice for the ball and chain" type of meal" before. Hmmmmm I liked this also but can completely understand your not liking some swimmers. I grew up in Iowa where catfish were "bottom feeders" in the Mississippi River , filthy little creatures. Although now catfish are farm-raised and we have a very prosperous acquaintance who does that in Arkansas, I could never eat his catfish. I offended him, of course. Still.......

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