A Spring-Time Favorite That Is Easy And Delicious
Spring is one of my favorite times of year. The days become longer, warmer and brighter, and the trees begin to sprout their beauty once again. We put away those heavy recipes of winter as we start to enjoy the fresh foods of spring. Nothing screams springtime more than fresh flowers, veggies and…salmon, right?
In our part of the country, it seems that salmon has risen to the top in the hierarchy of the fish world. The snobby neighbor, if you will. Whether this title is deserved or not, please don’t be intimidated by salmon. Some people would beg, borrow or steal for it. I have personally never been a huge fan, because it is so rich….UNTIL our family came across this recipe. Time and age have a way of refining your taste buds.
Growing up, I didn’t have a clue that salmon came any other way than in a can (salmon patties rock!). Fresh or frozen salmon fillets were unheard of outside of a large city. I am very thankful that there are now so many food products readily available at the simplest of small town supermarkets. You can’t even imagine how far things have come in 20 years. I hope you are taking full advantage of this by cooking new and exciting things.
The first time we tackled this stuffed salmon, we were missing a very key ingredient – the ricotta. So we took a deep breath and then substituted it with half cream cheese/half sour cream and it was just as amazing. Feel free to do so here if you’d like. Remember, make it your own and don’t be scared.
Spinach & Feta Stuffed Salmon – 2-4 servings
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 2 fresh or frozen salmon fillets
- (4-6 oz each)
- 4 oz ricotta cheese, drained
- 4 oz crumbled feta
- 1 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- (we used Panko)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (or more)
- 6 oz fresh baby spinach, (about 30 leaves) washed & dried
- 2 Tbsp Parmesan
WHAT TO DO:
- Preheat oven to 375. Wipe off any excess liquid from the thawed salmon fillets with a paper towel. Gently lay each fillet on a cutting board. Using a good sharp knife, slice it lengthwise so that it will lay open like a book in one large piece. Don’t cut all the way through – you are butterflying the fillet. Gently salt and pepper the inside of each fillet and leave the fillets open.
- In a medium size bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, a few pinches of salt and pepper and a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Mix until well combined. Spread one fourth of this mixture onto one side of each fillet.
- Sprinkle half of the crumbled feta over the ricotta mixture and lay 10-12 spinach leaves on top. Close the top flap of the fillets over the filling. Spread the remaining ricotta mixture onto the top of each fillet and then top each with 10-12 more spinach leaves.
- Tie the bundles closed with kitchen twine. Drizzle each with 1 tablespoon olive oil and another pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle Parmesan on the top of each fillet and place fillets in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before untying. If desired, cut each fillet into 2 portions. Serve warm with a lemon slice or two. YUM!
- Now, throw in a little roasted asparagus on the side and you will be able to swoon anyone. ENJOY!
*Bonus: Roasted Asparagus – 2 servings
WHAT YOU NEED:
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, rinsed and drained
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- A good drizzle of olive oil
WHAT TO DO:
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
- To avoid eating the tough ends of asparagus, prep each one by snapping off the ends. Typically about an inch or so of the tough end will break off right where it’s needed.
- Lay the fresh asparagus in the dish and top with butter, garlic, salt, pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil.
- Bake for appx. 30 minutes. Stir the asparagus a few times during baking and toss well before serving. Lemons go great with this too!
What a great meal to share together!