Steamed Salmon with Chard, Pine Nuts, and Raisins Recipe

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Steamed Salmon with Chard, Pine Nuts, and Raisins Recipe

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

Steaming is a cooking method I haven't experimented with much. To me, it's designed for health food, and when I heard the words "steamed salmon" all I can think of is something totally dried out and tasteless. Where I got this prejudice I don't know, but because of it, I always defer to a skillet or a hot oven when I want to cook a piece of fish.

That all changed last week when I (for some reason) went on a detox with no caffeine, alcohol, gluten, dairy, soy, or sugar. A recipe for steamed salmon and chard was my prescribed meal for the evening, so I set out to make it as tasty as possible. Taking a cue from a Roman preparation, the spinach, pine nuts, and raisins garnish the salmon to add crunch and sweetness.

But the best part of the whole thing was the salmon. This is the moistest, most flavorful preparation of salmon I've had in recent memory. And most importantly, with just a seasoning of salt, it tastes of nothing but itself—steaming does that. Add that to the speed and ease of the cooking process, you'll be totally sold, too.

  • Yield:4 servings
  • Active time: 5 minutes
  • Total time:15 minutes


  • 4 salmon fillets, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large handfuls mixed herbs such as parsley, dill, or chervil
  • 2 bunches swiss chard (or kale), stemmed and torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked for ten minutes in warm water
  • Olive oil, for finishing


  1. 1.

    Bring 1 inch of water to boil in the bottom of two pots fitted with a steamer insert. Season the salmon fillets liberally with salt and pepper. Lay the mixed herbs in the bottom of the steamer basket and arrange the fillets on top of it. Cover the pot and steam until the salmon just begins to flake, about ten minutes.

  2. 2.

    When the salmon is halfway cooked, add the chard (or kale) to the second pot. Steam until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and toss well to combine.

  3. 3.

    Divide the kale between four plates, then transfer the fillets on top. Garnish with the pine nuts and raisins, and drizzle the whole dish with olive oil. Serve with sea salt as needed.