Seared Salmon with Baby Kale Quinotto and Warm Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad is a beautiful restaurant-style dish that’s perfect for a casual dinner for two, yet elegant enough for guests!
What is quinotto?
It’s simply quinoa cooked “risotto-style.” Quinoa is considered an “ancient grain” that sustained many generations in the Southern hemisphere. It’s a plant-based protein that’s also gluten-free. Because it has a bitter coating called saponin, it’s always a good idea to rinse quinoa (if it’s not a pre-rinsed brand) prior to use.
How to make Seared Salmon with Baby Kale Quinotto and Warm Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad:
- You’ll need to make the cashew cream first. It takes a little bit of time, but it’s hands-off time. Simply soak roasted or raw cashews in water for at least two hours.
- Drain off the soaking liquid, then place in a food processor or blender.
- Add water as needed to achieve a smooth, thick creamy consistency. This recipe makes about two cups which is more than you’ll need for the quinotto, so refrigerate or freeze what you don’t need for future use. Cashew cream is good enough to eat with a spoon!
- Then, get the quinotto going. I like to use baby kale in a dish like this rather than regular kale because it’s less work. It can go from the clamshell container right into the pan.
- Heat a little oil in a skillet or sauté pan and cook the baby kale until it wilts.
- Set the kale aside in a bowl or on a plate and work on the rest of the quinotto.
- Sauté onions and garlic…
- Add quinoa and give it a good stir to lightly toast it…
- Then, add chicken or vegetable broth.
- Simmer, stirring several times until the quinoa is cooked but still has some “bite” left to it. Stir the kale back in and add some of the delicious cashew cream as a cream and cheese substitute.
- While the quinotto is cooking, make the cherry tomato salad. Drizzle on some oil…
- Roast until blistered and soft. Transfer to a bowl, but be sure to not leave any of the juices behind! Those juices become part of the salad.
- Cook the salmon. A simple sear is all the rich taste of salmon needs to shine through!
…And friends! You’ve got a restaurant-style dish that’s wholesome, guilt-free, light and delicious! Seared Salmon with Baby Kale Quinotto and Warm Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad is a meal you can feel good about!
More healthy fish recipes!
- Sheet Pan Thai Sweet Chili – Lime Baked Fish with Garlic Broccolini
- Baked Veracruz-Style Fish (Pescado A La Veracruzana)
- Indian Spiced Sea Bass with Braised Red Lentils
- Asian Vegetable Noodle Broth Bowls with Pan-Seared Fish
- Pomegranate and Orange Glazed Salmon with Stir-Fried Vegetables
- Mediterranean Fish en Papillote
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- BABY KALE QUINOTTO
- 2 cups cashews, raw or roasted
- Water for soaking cashews plus 1 1/4 cups to puree cashews
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 container (5-ounce) baby kale
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth (as needed)
- CHERRY TOMATO SALAD
- 1 container (10.5-ounce) cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 (6 to 8-ounce) pieces salmon, skin removed
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Parsley, for garnish
- QUINOTTO: Place cashews in a bowl. Cover with hot tap water and soak at least 2 hours. Drain. Place cashews in a food processor or blender with 1 cup water. Puree until smooth, adding additional water as necessary. Thin with more water to desired consistency. Set aside 1/2 cup cashew cream and refrigerator or freeze the remainder for another use.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet or saute' pan over medium-high heat. Add the baby kale and cook 3 to 4 minutes, moving it around with tongs until wilted. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer to a plate or bowl.
- Heat remaining oil in the same skillet or saute' pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook 15 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the quinoa and stir briefly. Add 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered 12 to 15 minutes, adding additional chicken broth as necessary until quinoa is cooked through. Stir in baby kale and 1/2 cup reserved cashew cream. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Keep warm.
- CHERRY TOMATO SALAD: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 20 minutes or until blistered. Transfer to a bowl along with all the accumulated juices. Add the garlic, balsamic vinegar and parsley. Cover to keep warm.
- SALMON: Heat oil in a nonstick skillet (or cast iron skillet) over medium-high heat. Season salmon with salt and black pepper. Place salmon in the skillet (top side down), reduce heat to medium and cook 5 to 6 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook 3 to 4 minutes on the other side. (If the fish is thick and you prefer it cooked all the way through, it may require some time in the oven. The salmon is cooked through when it easily flakes with a fork.)
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2546Total Fat: 192gSaturated Fat: 34gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 146gCholesterol: 270mgSodium: 2500mgCarbohydrates: 100gFiber: 12gSugar: 17gProtein: 123g
The nutritional information above is computer-generated and only an estimate. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.