Monday, February 16, 2009

Eggplant Salmon

I’m not sure why it worked out this way, but we had a seafood-focused weekend. We had some fantastic sushi at a neighborhood place for lunch on Saturday. We drive by this place all the time, but we’ve only stopped in a few times. We always leave happy, the fish is always the freshest, and it’s always perfectly prepared. Once again, we reminded ourselves we should stop there more often. After a lunch including salmon, tuna, crab, and shrimp, we moved on to mussels and salmon for dinner. It was a perfect food day for me. The eggplant salmon was another dish from Happy in the Kitchen by Michel Richard. All of the dishes in the Shellfish and Fish chapter are enticing, so I just picked one of the simplest to prepare.

Salmon fillets were cut down the center so as to accommodate a stuffing of eggplant and fresh mozzarella. The Japanese eggplant was first thinly sliced and sauteed with garlic and just a touch of soy sauce. Once cooled, it was tossed with cubed mozzarella and chopped garlic chives. The salmon was filled and then baked until the stuffing had heated through. The components of this were so simple to prepare but so delicious together. The sauce was just as easy. Chopped onion was cooked with chopped tomato. I know what you’re thinking. With eggplant and tomato, this sounds like a summer dish. Fair enough, but we do get pretty good locally, organically, greenhouse-grown tomatoes here, and since it was cooked with the onion for 15 minutes, it worked out fine. For this sauce, canned whole tomatoes would work too. The sauce was supposed to have received some basil after being pureed and strained, but I used a combination of homegrown parsley, thyme, and oregano instead. The tomato sauce was pooled onto the plate and topped with the salmon.

It all worked incredibly well together, but we also soon realized the stuffing would make an excellent vegetarian dish on its own. After filling the salmon, there was extra stuffing which I baked in a small dish. That alone would be lovely served with the tomato sauce. The sauce delivered brightness and incredible flavor considering the very short ingredient list. With the mozzarella melted into the buttery salmon, the tender eggplant made flavorful with garlic and soy sauce, and the smooth tomato sauce, this was a great finale to a seafood day.


11 comments:

  1. I dont care how you slice it - I love salmon!

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  2. The combo of salmon with eggplant sounds very interesting - definitely have to give it a try!

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  3. Salmon is the number one fish! New combo for us with the mozza. Yum.

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  4. That looks like it came from a restaurant! I agree with the other commenters--salmon, mozzarella, and eggplant will be a new combination for me too, but from your gorgeous presentation and preparation, it is one that should be done more often!

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  5. I love salmon and this looks so yummy delicious. Bookmarking to make these next time when i have salmon.

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  6. that sauce looks incredible!! meanwhile, i don't think i've ever seen eggplant paired with fish of any kind--good for you!

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  7. This salmon dish looks superb! I have never thought of combining aubergines with salmon! What a clever idea!

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  8. I would have never thought to combine salmon and egg plant but they loos so harmonious together. Love them both. It looks delicious in that sauce.

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  9. An rare combination! Eggplant and salmon. I love both and I can't see any reason why they wouldn't work!

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  10. I'm planning to make this tomorrow. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

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  11. Mmmmmmmmmmm! family loved it and it was filling! I had to modify because I couldnt get to the store. I used shredded mozzarella and I had some fontina cheese that I cubed. I had chives but not garlic chives... I made the sauce but will try tomato bisque next time will be easier and more to what I was looking for this time. Yummy!!!!!!!

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