This is not one of those dishes (like Pierre’s Mac & Cheese) that I’m going to go on and on about how delicious and amazing it is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but it’s still a healthy, weeknight supper. I found this recipe on epicurious, and the original creation time was 3 1/2 hours. I’m not sure about you, but I certainly don’t have 3 1/2 hours to spend on a healthy salmon meal. If I’m spending 3 1/2 hours on anything it’s making chocolate cake, or perfecting my slow-roasted pork ribs.
So I looked at the recipe, cut some corners and ended up with a perfectly satisfying weeknight dinner.
Salmon with Pearl Couscous, Slow-Roasted Tomatoes, and Lemon Oregano Oil (adapted from Gourmet, 2005)
For tomatoes and lemon oregano oil
6 plum tomatoes (1 lb), halved lengthwise
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
12 whole fresh oregano leaves finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest, removed in strips with a vegetable peeler and finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 1/4 cups pearl (Israeli) couscous (12 oz)
1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (14 fl oz)
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 (6-oz) pieces wild salmon fillet with skin (preferably center cut)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Roast tomatoes and prepare oil:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Toss tomatoes with sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and arrange, cut sides down, in a small shallow baking pan. Add oil, garlic, basil & oregano. Roast tomatoes until very tender but not falling apart, 15 minutes. Use a sieve or strainer to separate the oil & tomatoes. Then stir in chopped oregano, zest, juice, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper with the tomatoes.
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then toast couscous, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and pale golden, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth, water, and salt and simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed and couscous is al dente, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 10 minutes, then stir in olive oil you separated from the tomatoes. Season with salt.
Roast salmon while couscous stands:
Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°F. Line a 17- by 12-inch shallow baking pan with foil.
Arrange salmon, skin sides down, in baking pan, then drizzle with olive oil, rubbing it over tops of fillets, and sprinkle with salt. Roast salmon until just cooked through, 8-12 minutes (just watch it – mine cooked in 7 minutes).
Divide couscous among plates. Lift salmon flesh from skin with a slotted spatula and transfer a fillet to each bed of couscous. Put tomato mixture on each salmon before serving.