Agave Brushed Salmon with Orange Watercress Salad


Look at that photo.  Isn’t this dish so gorgeous?  Let me tell you, it tastes just as good as it looks, and the flavors here just make me go wild.  You get that slightly sweet crust on the salmon from the agave, then the bright citrus flavors and the freshness of the mint, and the brininess from the capers…it’s incredible, refreshing, and zesty.  For this dish I highly recommend you go with a wild salmon fillet.  I know it costs more, but I think it’s worth it (if you’re already spending $8 on the farmed salmon, why not spend $4 more for the wild)? Here’s how to make this lovely dish:

Serves two people.  Easily doubles and triples.

Ingredients:
2 6-oz wild salmon fillets
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 navel orange
2 tsp capers, finely chopped
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp packed fresh mint, chopped
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp orange zest
leftover orange juice from the segmented orange (1 tbsp)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup packed watercress

Directions:
Start by segmenting the orange (if you don’t know how to segment an orange, I have pictures/instructions here), and place the orange segments into a bowl along with the chopped capers, scallion, mint, lemon zest and juice, orange zest and juice, olive oil, and watercress.  Season with salt and pepper, and stir it all together.  That’s it.

Brush the salmon on both sides with the agave, and season generously with salt and pepper.

You have a couple options for cooking the salmon:

1. Grill it.  The nice thing about grilling the salmon is it turns the agave into a delicately sweet crust on the salmon, as well as giving it a smoky flavor.
2. Broil it, but you must watch it very carefully.  I once was broiling the salmon, and the agave actually caught on fire (my first kitchen fire.  Fortunately it burned out very quickly).
3. You could probably pan sear it too, though I’ve never tried that.

However you cook it, you want the agave to caramelize a bit on the salmon, because it not only gives it fantastic flavor, but a gorgeous color.  Salmon cooking times will vary with fillet thickness, but usually it only takes around 3 minutes on each side.  Top the salmon with the orange watercress salad, and spoon the juices around the salmon for some beautiful plating.  Thanks for reading!  Have a great day!

This recipe is adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis’ Grilled Salmon with Citrus Salsa Verde.

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11 Responses to Agave Brushed Salmon with Orange Watercress Salad

  1. Amy K. says:

    Sounds and look great!

    Also love your ‘kitchen tools’ pictorial.

  2. This looks great. Citrus and mint are such a good combination. I love salmon, and don’t eat enough of it- I guess I know what I’m getting on my next grocery run 🙂

  3. This looks breathtaking. I’m loving the brightness of this dish — so refreshing, healthy, and full of natural flavor. I’m tempted to work with agave nectar. I know how much Giada used to rave about it. :p

    • Agave nectar has an interesting flavor. I’m always buying strange things at the grocery store, so when I saw it I was like “ooo what is that???” And it turned out to be the most delicious coating for the salmon in this dish.

  4. Maria says:

    Looks lovely! Is “agave nectar” the same as “agave syrup”. I have syrup but not nectar 🙂

  5. This looks great! Tons of awesome flavors in here. Beautiful presentation, too. Nice job, Joanne!

  6. Saveur says:

    Beautiful salmon salad dish! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Val says:

    Absolutely gorgeous flavour pairings for salmon. I can’t wait to give this a try!

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