This is the perfect easy, interesting dinner. And, might I add from yesterday's experience, also a terrific cold packed lunch.
The concept is simple: no-fuss baked salmon crusted in hot blackening spice perched on a pile of cool coconut couscous splintered with fresh herbs. It's New Orleans meets Miami in 15 minutes. The salmon is spicy, salty, savory, and meaty. The couscous is fluffy and fresh, packed full of mint, parsley, green onions, and pumpkin seeds.
Couscous should always be on-hand for ten-minute wonder dinners like this one. It's the easiest starch to cook: just pour boiling water over it and let it stand off the heat until it's ready. But here's the trick to this special version: cook the couscous in a can of coconut milk instead of water. The couscous sucks up all the coconutty goodness, and the natural oils in the coconut keeps the grains of couscous separate. With just one simple swap, you've imparted so much flavor and moisture to a side that can tend to be a little dry and neglected.
- 1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 1/2 cups dry couscous
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh scallion greens and whites
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 5 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
- 2 boneless skinless salmon filets (about 6 ounces each)
- 1 tablespoon blackening seasoning (recommended: Blackened Redfish Magic)
- Lemon or lime wedges (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bring the coconut milk to a boil in a medium stockpot. Add the couscous and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pot, remove from the heat, and let stand 10 minutes. Finally, stir in the scallion, parsley, mint, and pumpkin seeds.
Meanwhile, season both sides of the salmon with blackening seasoning. Place the fish on a parchment lined baking sheet, until just cooked through but still medium-rare in center, about 10 minutes. Make a bed of the couscous, place the fish on top, tear up some extra mint leaves for garnish, and serve with lemon wedges (optional).