It’s a good thing I don’t have cable because I would probably watch cooking shows all day. I certainly have my favorites and The Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) is at the top of my list. I was watching her show years back and she made a delicious dijon salmon for her husband Jeffrey. She inspired me to make my own marinade and I have been trying different versions ever since. I have finally settled on a combination that I love. I serve this dijon salmon with sauteed snap peas and bell pepper. If you love seafood, you HAVE to try this dish!
Start with 1.5 pounds of fresh salmon. Skin on or off doesn’t matter; you pick! When you are choosing the salmon, stick your nose down by the meat and take a big sniff and see if it smells fishy. Fishy fish, you say? What’s wrong with that? All puns aside, does it overwhelmingly smell like fish because if so, that piece is probably old. Pick a piece of salmon that has little to no “fishy” smell because that means it’s the most fresh. It is also important to look for smooth, rippled meat because that indicates it has been handled properly. Lastly, look for a vibrant color.
Use a fillet knife or a pair of sharp kitchen scissors to cut the salmon in half. I usually keep my fish in one piece and lay it flat on a cookie sheet but for this recipe I use a glass pan because I don’t want to risk losing any of the delicious dijon marinade. Speaking of the dijon marinade, let me show you how to make it.
In a small dish, combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1.5 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard, and a teaspoon of minced garlic.
Mix it all up until you see small “bubbles” formed. This is called emulsion. Emulsion, or to emulsify, is just a fancy way of saying you are blending two liquids together that do not dissolve within each other. This is your opportunity to look super smart in front of your spouse! Casually saunter over to the marinade and call out, “Hold on sweetie, I just have to emulsify this marinade real quick and I’ll be right there.” He’ll be super impressed with your vocabulary AND your cooking! This marriage advice is free of charge, by the way.
Pour the emulsion over the fish and let it marinade for an hour or so. You can skip this step but I find that letting it sit for awhile really deepens the flavor. Bake the salmon for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. You may need to increase the amount of baking time if you have a thick piece of fish.
While the salmon is cooking, chop up one red bell pepper and rinse a handful of snap peas.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the vegetables in a large saute pan. Sprinkle in a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Stir-fry the vegetables for about 5 minutes or until they are tender but still crisp.
Aren’t those colors vibrant? The salmon is almost done baking and your kitchen should be smelling heavenly! It should smell like an authentic Japanese restaurant with the soy sauce and garlic from the marinade. When I make this dish, my mouth always waters.
When the salmon is done it should be flaky, tender, and opaque in color. Omg, I want to eat this right now! Is it almost dinnertime?
What a colorful and amusing dish! The crunchy texture from the vegetables perfectly compliments the soft meat of the salmon. I think Ina would be proud!
- 1.5 lb salmon
- 4-6 oz fresh snap peas
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cut salmon to fit into 9x13 glass pan.
- Mix marinade in small bowl and pour over salmon.
- Let salmon marinate atleast 1 hour.
- Bake salmon at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
- Saute snap peas and bell pepper in 1 tablespoon oil.
- Saute until tender but still crisp with salt and pepper.
- Serve warm and enjoy!