For a long time, I wasn’t a fan of capers. I encountered them in Colombia, the first time I ate ajiaco, which is usually topped with them. Did not like them at all and stored them in the “no way” file. I guess I was too young to appreciate the flavors, or maybe though the years of developing a palate, but I went through years of avoiding them like the plague.
That was the story until last fall, when I was cooking a special meal that included a tomato-caper relish. In the tradition of “things we do for love”, I decided to not leave out the capers, but include them, and just… you know… Suck it up. Boy was I in for a surprise. Not only did I like them, I loved them. Thank goodness for growing up and re-tasting things (this list includes figs, eggplant and lots of cheeses).
Today’s recipe is an adaptation from the March 2011 Cooking Light. I didn’t find arctic char at the store, so I used salmon instead and in a stroke of brilliance, my sous-chef added dill to the salmon before cooking, an addition that I found increased the flavor profile immensy. In the end, I found the meal to be flavorful and light, and mostly: Quick and easy.
SALMON FILLETS WITH ORANGE-CAPER RELISH
Yield: 4 people
- 1 cup orange sections
- 2 tablespoons slivered red onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon capers, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 4 (6 oz) salmon fillets
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
Combine the first nine ingredients in a bowl, mix them gently and refrigerate until ready to use.
Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt, pepper and dill.
Heat a heavy, or cast-iron skillet under medium-high heat and add olive oil, enough to evenly coat the bottom of the skillet, but don’t overdo it. Once oil is hot, add salmon fillets, skin side down. Cook for approximately 3-4 mins per side or until they are done. Since this varies by the thickness of your fillet, watch them. You don’t want to overcook them and get them all dry.
Serve fillets topped with the orange-caper relish. We accompanied them with white rice and mushrooms and a side salad that had an orange-champagne vinegar dressing. To keep all the flavor profiles together, you know?