Craig Valency, CSCS
I was on expectant father cooking duty last night. According to the mom-to-be, I hit this one out of the park. And I would have to agree! We used to love the salmon stuffed with spinach and feta from Trader Joe’s, but I thought I could do better by making my own version. Of course, being from the more is better school of thought, I figured I’d add fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell peppers, the kitchen sink… STOP THE TRAIN, because Christa is about to jump off! She saved me from myself and explained the genius of less is more and the importance of letting the ingredients shine. Well they did. Enjoy!
Salmon with Spinach, Feta, & Sundried Tomatoes
- 2 Sockeye salmon filets (6 – 8 oz)
- Olive oil
- 1 Lemon
- Kosher salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. dried basil
- 1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach (I use Cascadian Farm organic)
- 1/2 large yellow onion or 1 small onion, diced
- 2 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (The best are from Terra Bella Ranch at a San Diego Farmer’s Market)
- 2 1/4 oz. Feta cheese (3″ x 2″ x 1/2″) cut into small pieces (I use Trader Joe’s Authentic Sheep’s Milk Greek Feta in Brine)
Sautee the diced onions in butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and couple of grinds of black pepper. After about 5 minutes, add the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Sautee another 2 minutes. Remove the onions and tomatoes from the pan and transfer them to a small container.
Pat dry the salmon filets. Season them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Add more butter to the pan and place them flesh side down in the hot pan. Cook for 5 minutes over medium heat without moving them. Flip them over (skin side down for an additional 3 mintues. Remove the filets from the pan. You can easily separate the skin from the fish at this point or leave it on if you prefer.
Put the onion and sun-dried tomato mixture back in the pan over medium heat. Add the package of chopped frozen spinach. Season with garlic powder, and dried basil (crush the basil between your finger first to release the oils). Add a little olive oil and the juice of half a lemon. Next, add thc diced feta cheese. Stir to incorporate until the cheese starts to melt.
Spoon 1/4 of the mixture over each filet and serve with lemon.
- The spinach mixture is enough for 4 filets, so reserve half for tomorrow’s dinner. Or you can do what I did and have it with your poached eggs in the morning!
- Use the salt sparingly, as the feta cheese tends to be salty.
- Rinse and pat the feta dry to get out some of the salt or brine
- Buy a fish spatula!
- Sprouts has the best prices on frozen, wild salmon filets. They even beat Costco.
- Don’t listen to snobs who say you can never serve cheese with fish.
- If you don’t eat cheese, use tofu. Just kidding! Simply leave it out and perhaps add some capers for a little bit of that briny, salty Mediterranean flavor.