Do you want an amazing Entree for your next dinner party that will knock your socks off and your leaving your guests in AWE? Thought so. Fore-warning. This may take a bit more work than some of my other recipes I have shared, but I promise, this is soooo worth it.
My husband isn’t much of a salmon or feta fan, but he will eat this with a smile on his face every time. Plus, every time I serve this at a dinner party, I get asked the same question…..What is this? It’s amazing!
So there you go. Not only do I have my husband’s approval, who again is not a big fan of salmon……going to a bit of extra work for a dish that comes out perfectly every-time is so worth it!
I forgot to mention, my dear husband loves cheese….except for feta (and goat). So there you go again. He loves this salmon which has feta in the filling! Go figure.
I love it because, just like any other chef, you can prep the filling the day before your party, tie up the salmon, and bake it immediately or refrigerate it until 45 minutes before your guests arrive. Easy Peasy!
Lets talk about all the healthy veggies included! Wild Salmon, spinach, fennel, and onions. Oh Yes! Do you want to know why I love this dish so much, besides that it is delicious? Each one of these ingredients have amazing health benefits, espeically for runners like me!
- Wild Salmon – The health benefits of salmon include proper cardio vascular health (see I told you it’s great for runners), muscle and tissue development, eye care, effective body metabolism, brain heath, and it’s a great source of protein!
- Spinach – A Nutritional Powerhouse! It is extremely nutrient dense, packing fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, bone density building vitamin K, and skin clarifying vitamin A into a 40 calories per 1 cup serving. In addition to these health benefits, spinach is also a good source of anti-inflammatory agents which are beneficial in regulating inflammation and free radical formation. Taking steps to reduce inflammation is especially important for athletes, because we are creating inflammation in our bodies with every workout.
- Onions – This humble veggie is loaded with health benefits! First off, onions are a good source of the antioxidant quercetin which offset oxidative damage to muscle fibers and body tissues caused by intense exercise. Brain, heart, digestion, and bone health are just a few of the health benefits! No wonder I love onions, and this soup is one of my faves!
- Fennel – This crunchy and slightly sweet vegetable has unique phytonutrients with antioxidant and health-promoting effects! In addition, it’s an excellent source of Vitamin C for our immune systems. Everyone loves a strong immune system, espeically runners who are taxing their bodies while training. Finally, it’s a great source of fiber, it’s loaded with potassium and folate for colon health.
SALMON WITH SPINACH, FENNEL, ONIONS AND FETA (adapted from the barefoot contessa cookbook by Ina Garten)
- 1 large wild salmon fillets – total 7 pounds
- 5 cups sliced yellow onions, 1/4 inch thick
- 5 cups sliced fennel bulbs, 1/4 inch thick
- 1 large clam shell of fresh spinach
- zest of one orange
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 6 to 8 ounces of fresh sheep milk feta (optional)
- 3 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fennel fronds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 500°
- Sauté the onions and fennel with the oil for about 10 minutes on medium-high heat, stiffing occasionally.
- Add the spinach, fresh thyme, fennel fronds, orange zest, orange juice, salt and pepper and sauté for 5 more minutes or until all the veggies are tender.
- Lay the salmon, skin side down, on a cutting board lined with parchment and sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper.
- Spread the filling over half the salmon.
- Pull the other half up over the salmon, enclosing it.
- Tie the salmon every 2 inches with kitchen string secure the stuffing.
- Place a baking sheet in your hot oven for 5 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the salmon to the hot baking sheet and bake it for exactly 30 minutes (or 10 minutes for each inch of thickness.) DO NOT OVER BAKE!
- Allow to cool slightly, then remove the strings.
- To serve, cut into thick slices with a very sharp knife.
- This is delicious hot or at room temperature.