Whether you use your oven or the grill, this healthy one-dish meal is bright and satisfying. I use my go-to marinade for the salmon. With a balance of bright citrus, sweet chili heat and piquant mustard, it hits all of the flavor categories, and provides a welcome bite to cut through the buttery richness of the fish.
The salad is another go-to favorite, where I massage the kale leaves -- you've probably heard of this method by now. In case you haven't, massaging the tough leaves helps to tenderize them so that they are slightly softened, but not limp, while taming their earthy flavor. It's really a must for kale salads and can be done well ahead of serving without the risk of wilting, thanks to the sturdiness of the kale leaves, which is a brilliant prep trick for salad.
I frequently use my grill as my second oven and fire source for cooking meats, chicken and fish, no matter the time of year. I will draw the line, though, when I can't bear the thought of stepping out into polar temperatures or a drenching downpour to quickly char-grill my dinner. So, I turn to my oven broiler for (almost) the same charred results. This is how I prepared these salmon skewers.
You might wonder why I skewered the salmon, especially since there's nothing else threaded with the fish. I cube and skewer the salmon so that the fish, which is cut into large chunks, has more surface area, edges and corners that are exposed to the grill. This ensures that there will be lots of crispy charred bits all over the salmon, which in my opinion is the best part of this recipe.
Grilled Salmon Skewers With Kale and Quinoa
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: about 30 minutes, plus marinating time
Yield: serves 4 to 5
Special equipment: Pre-soaked bamboo skewers
2 pounds salmon filet, skin and pin bones removed, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce, such as Sriracha
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 small bunch curly green kale
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chopped cauliflower florets
1/2 cup cooked quinoa, room temperature
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
1 small red chili pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped, plus extra for garnish
Place the salmon in a medium bowl. Whisk the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over the salmon and stir to coat. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Remove the tough ribs from the kale and tear the leaves into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl and with 1 tablespoon oil, the lemon or lime juice and 1/8 teaspoon salt. With your hands, toss and rub the leaves to thoroughly coat for about 1 minute. Let stand at room temperature while you prepare the salmon.
Whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper in a small bowl.
Preheat the oven broiler.
Thread the salmon on the skewers and discard the marinade. Arrange the skewers on a grill pan and place on the top rack under the oven broiler. Grill until cooked through and well marked in places, about 8 minutes, turning the skewers once.
While the skewers are grilling, assemble the salad. Add the cauliflower, quinoa, carrot, chili pepper, cilantro and mint to the kale. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
To serve, spread the salad on a serving platter or divide between serving plates. Arrange the skewers over the salad and garnish with additional mint. Serve immediately.
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