Roast Salmon and Broccoli with Chile-Caper Vinaigrette
I love when recipes turn out exactly how they sound, as though you can taste them right through the page. I gravitated towards this recipe immediately because the quick-pickled jalapeño reminded me of one of my sushi restaurant favorites, yellowtail with jalapeño, and everybody knows everything's better with capers. (Except fruit pies, just ask Bobby Hill.)
We're continuing to enjoy the spoils of our first successful broccoli crop. The leaves in particular have been a revelation; when cooked over high heat, the thin leafy bits brown to crunchy deliciousness at the same time that the stems become just tender-crisp. I may even bring some to Coppell Farmers Market this weekend to share with all of you. Maaaybe. If everything didn't freeze last night, that is. The roads were too icy today to head up and check, so we'll see tomorrow. Fingers and toes, y'all.
I generally find Rachel Ray pretty heinous, but she has good ideas from time to time. One of those is to immediately wash, prep, and put away all your produce when you get it home from the market. That way it's all ready to go whenever you need it, and it's just quicker to handle it all at once than a few minutes every day. I hate you just a little more for making me thank you for something, Rachel Ray.
1 jalapeño, thinly sliced into rings (I used about half of a big one to get a couple dozen thin slices)
2 tbsp capers, salt cured are best (Jimmy's has them), rinsed
2 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (if you say EVOO, Imma slap you)
2 salmon filets (we're exclusively eating sustainable-as-it-gets Verlasso salmon now, and it is so good)
2-3 cups broccoli florets and leaves, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. I know it seems goofy to preheat the oven when you're actually going to use the broiler, but I think everything cooks a lot more evenly if you do.
Next, combine the jalapeño, capers, rice vinegar, and a little kosher salt in a small bowl. Make sure the jalapeño slices are submerged. Top with the extra virgin olive oil. Leave it on the counter for a good half hour before you eat so it can pickle.
Cook the quinoa according to the package directions and set aside. Anecdotally, I find it always takes more liquid than they claim it should.
The rest of this will go pretty quick. Turn on the broiler to low (or high, if your broiler isn't very hot). Toss the broccoli with a little olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Spread into a single layer on a tray. Coat the salmon with a little more olive oil, season, and arrange on another tray (or use one huge tray if you have it, my broccoli leaves took up so much room I actually did need two trays). Pop the trays under the broiler for about 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your salmon filets. Don't cook the crap out of nice salmon, it should be served about medium. Also, if you're using broccoli leaves, make sure to monitor them for burning, giving them a shuffle on the tray half-way through cooking.
Whisk your vinaigrette a bit before serving. Plate the salmon and broccoli atop a mound of quinoa and top everything with the chile-caper vinaigrette.