Caroline Cooks

A modest documentation of my culinary exploits.

Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Lemon Rosemary Salmon

Forget diets. Forget counting calories. One of the easiest ways to lose weight and eat healthier is to only shop the perimeter of the store.

Generally, an American grocery store will have fresh produce along one wall, dairy along the other, and meats and seafood along the back. Assuming one has a kitchen well-stocked with spices, oils, nuts, and grains, the perimeter of the store contains all a person needs to buy to create delicious and satisfying meals.

And what's in between? Aisle after aisle of processed foods stuffed with empty calories,sugars, additives, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, and long lists of hard-to-pronounce ingredients. I've had people complain to me that they'd like to eat healthier, but they can't help but devour that entire bag of chips in the pantry. The solution seems clear to me: don't buy the chips in the first place! The grocery store makes things easy by stocking them all in one place, so you have no excuse to even go down the potato chip aisle and be tempted.

Ever since I've been old enough to buy my own groceries, I've mostly stuck to the perimeter of the store. Sure, there are times when I need to dip into the canned goods aisle for chickpeas or a can of crushed tomatoes, but generally my vegetables are purchased fresh. As a baker, I often need to go down the baking aisle to replenish my supply of flour or almonds. But usually I try to buy these raw ingredients in bulk, from Costco, so I only need to get fresh produce and dairy each week.

Like most of my recipes, this is a good example of a simple meal you can throw together with perimeter-of-the-store items. Assuming you already have olive oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper, you only need to grab a lemon and a filet of salmon from the store. Roast some vegetables on the side, or slice the salmon and toss in a salad as I did with the leftovers.

filet(s) of wild salmon (as much as you need), skin removed
equal parts lemon juice and olive oil
thinly sliced lemon
dried or fresh rosemary
salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the salmon on it.

Combine the lemon juice and olive oil and brush over the sides and top of the salmon. Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle on rosemary to taste. Arrange the lemon slices on top and pour any extra lemon-oil mixture over them.

Bake in preheated oven 10-14 minutes, or until flesh flakes easily with a fork. To serve, you could optionally have lemon juice or olive oil for dipping.


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