Six O’Clock Solution: Salmon and broccolini share Ina Garten’s oven

Six O’Clock Solution: Salmon and broccolini share Ina Garten’s oven

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The pandemic forced us at first to cook dinner night after night, and many of us have become better at keeping meals simple as a result.

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Ina Garten, who offers some of her favourite easy recipes in her latest cookbook, Go-To Dinners (Clarkson Potter/Penguin, $47), favours repetition. “Cooking a tried-and-true recipe that I know everyone will enjoy … is like taking a deep yoga breath at the end of a stressful day,” she writes.

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Many of the 80-plus recipes start with preheating the oven; Garten favours baked meals, partly for flavour, partly because she can relax as they cook. Examples of these include oven-braised chicken and vegetables, slow-roasted pork tenderloin, veal meatballs coated with grated cheese, sausages with fennel, and this quickie salmon recipe.

Nicknamed the Barefoot Contessa (after her one-time food store on Long Island), Garten likes to remove the stress of turning out dinner by cutting up or assembling the components of a recipe in advance. Both fish and vegetable bake efficiently at the same time in this recipe. Broccoli could replace the broccolini.

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Salmon Teriyaki and Broccolini

Serves 4

Olive oil

3 tablespoons (45 mL) soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons (22 mL) maple syrup

2 teaspoons (10 mL) toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) crushed red pepper flakes

4 skinless salmon fillets, 2 to 2 1/2 pounds (1.25 kg) total

Kosher or coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 pounds (750 g) broccolini (discard tough lower stems)

Steamed basmati rice

Arrange two oven racks, evenly spaced, in the oven. Preheat to 400 degrees F (200 C).

In a small saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons (45 mL) of olive oil with the soy sauce, maple syrup, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil over medium heat, immediately lower heat, and simmer for only 2 minutes. Set aside.

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Arrange salmon fillets, rounded side up, in a baking dish just large enough to give the fillets a little space between each. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt and 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) pepper, and then spoon soy sauce mixture evenly over the fish.

Bake on the upper rack of the preheated oven for 12 to 13 minutes for rare, or 13 to 14 minutes for medium, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

At the same time, place the broccolini on a sheet pan, drizzle it with 4 tablespoons (60 mL) olive oil and sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons (7 mL) salt and 3/4 teaspoon (4 mL) pepper, turning broccolini to coat with mixture. Spread it out in a single layer.

Bake on the lower oven rack for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once, until crisp-tender.

Serve salmon, broccolini and rice hot on four heated plates and spoon pan juices over the salmon.

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