Roasted Tomatillo Salmon

After shrimp and tuna, salmon is the most-consumed fish in the United States, so I had to give you a good salmon recipe. Even though in traditional Mexican cooking we don’t do a lot of roasting (ovens are used for storage, turkey once a year, and flan every once in a while), you’ll lovethis recipe for its simplicity and originality. Tomatillos are usually reserved for salsas, but if you can find them fresh and on the smaller side (they’re sweeter when smaller, like Brussels sprouts), they are wonderful roasted on their own. Here they provide a tangy counterpoint to the salmon. As for the salmon, nothing is worse than overcooked fish. In fact, slightly undercooked is much better. You’d be surprised at how quickly it gets cooked through. You just need 20 minutes or so and it comes out perfect and flaky.

SERVES 4

1 1/2 pounds small tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
2 cups thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (2-pound) Atlantic salmon fillet1 lemon, cut into 6 thin slices
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
White Rice with Basil and Corn (See below for sub-recipe), for serving

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, toss the tomatillos and red onion with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place on the prepared baking sheet and top with the salmon fillet. Season the salmon with salt and pepper and top with the lemon slices, chopped chives, and chopped cilantro. Roast for 20minutes for rare. Transfer the salmon to a serving platter and return the tomatillo and onion mixture to the oven. Roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Serve the tomatillos alongside the salmon fillet and white rice.

White Rice with Basil and Corn(Arroz Blanco con Elotitos)

I could eat an entire bowl of my mom’s arroz con elotes. A version of this rice exists probably in every house in Mexico, but it doesn’t vary much. I wanted to add a fresh, new element, and with all the beautiful basil in the garden and loving how it combines so beautifully with the sweetness of the corn—well, this is a match made in heaven. This is frequently the version of white rice that is served to soak up the sauces of traditional favorites, such as mole, pork in salsa verde, or tinga.

Serves 4

2 cups water
1 cup long-grain rice1 cup corn kernels
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons salt1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Combine the water, rice, and corn in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the butter and salt and swirl in the pan to combine and melt the butter. Decrease the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the rice is almost cooked through, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Fluff the rice with a fork, add the basil, and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Roasted Tomatillo Salmon from Casa Marcela by Marcela Valladolid. Copyright © 2017 by Marcela Valladolid. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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