Easy Spring Sides

Yesterday I found beautiful wild sockeye salmon at my local organic shop and immediately decided that’s what we would be having for dinner. What I’m loving about shopping at Ekoplaza (PS: Let me clarify again, NOT sponsored, only my opinion) is that for some reason, I can enter the shop without having planned a single meal and still come home with a whole week’s worth of dinners at a very reasonable price. I’ve tried that before at normal supermarkets and the only thing it leads to is aggravation. I think it has something to do with the selection of products. Ekoplaza is always stocked with interesting, new foods, and choosing is easy because everything is good! I don’t have to spend too much time reading labels, which means I have more time to get creative with weekly meals.
But back to the salmon… and to what I served with it — which is what this post is about.
Sockeye salmon is sustainably caught (not farmed!) and has a deep red color and a firmer, more ‘meaty’ flesh. It is high in Omega-3’s which means it’s great for your heart and a miracle worker for your skin and hair. I like to score the skin with a sharp knife, rub in fleur de sel and mixed pepper and fry in a little olive oil, skin-side down first.
To serve with the salmon, I made two easy seasonal side dishes I’d like to share with you today. Both are so simple that they don’t merit a separate post each.

Let’s start with the garlicky pan-roasted new potatoes, a side that would go really well with just about any kind of spring meats such as lamb or a simple roast lemon chicken. The key to getting them gorgeous and flavorful is to cook them slowly once browned. Keep the lid on, shake the pan every now and then and always wipe the moisture from the lid if you peek inside. If you use good garlic (pink garlic from Lautrec, for example), you can squeeze the cooked cloves out of their skins and eat them whole. They will turn incredibly sweet and delicious and lose their sharpness. Actually, for simple recipes such as these, it’s pretty much all about the ingredients. Choose organic or homegrown and the results are bound to be good.
Pan-Roasted Garlic Potatoes
Serves 3-4
potatoes

  • 3 tbsps mild olive oil
  • 600g new potatoes, unpeeled
  • 10 cloves of garlic, whole and unpeeled
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly-grated mixed peppercorns
  • fresh, finely chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a large casserole with fitting lid. Add the potatoes and stir fry over a medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Place the lid on the pan and cook for 35-40 minutes over a low heat. Check on the potatoes occasionally and shake the pan. Wipe the lid before placing back on the pan. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley just before serving.

The next recipe is even easier. I love the contrast of the earthy beets and the sweet, herbed crème fraîche. I’m pretty sure I will be making this salad quite often during the coming months.

Spring Salad with Beets and Herbed Crème Fraîche
Serves 3-4
salad

  • 100g crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsps microgreens
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly-grated mixed peppercorns
  • 200g mixed spring greens
  • 6-8 cooked baby beets, thinly slices
  • good quality olive oil

First make the topping by whisking the crème fraîche with the microgreens, chives and salt and pepper. Arrange the salad leaves over a large platter and top with the sliced beets. Dollop the creamy dressing over the salad and drizzle with the tiniest bit of olive oil. Finish with and extra grating of fresh pepper.

So there you have it! Two easy and fresh side dishes for the season ahead! Bon Appétit

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