Seared Salmon with Cumin-Crusted Vegetables

Delicious, satisfying, low calorie, stuffed full of vitamins and minerals, easy to prepare… what’s not to love about this winter warmer?

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RECIPE – serves 4

4 salmon fillets – approx. 200g each

1.2 kg baking potatoes (Roosters, Maris Piper etc)

2 tsp black mustard seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

4 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 heaped tsp garam masala

1 heaped tsp turmeric

2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into thin wedges

1 red, 1 yellow and 1 green pepper, deseeded and cut into bite-size chunks

2 medium courgettes, sliced into 1cm rounds


METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/ Fan 180C/ gas 4. Chop the potatoes the same size as you would for regular roast potatoes, put into cold salted water and bring to the boil, then boil for 3 minutes, just enough to parboil them.

While the potatoes are boiling, mix the garam masala and turmeric with the oil to form a paste. Heat a large, seasoned frying pan and dry-fry the mustard and cumin seeds for 30 seconds or so, until they are aromatic. Add the spice paste and the onion wedges and fry together for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently.

Drain the potatoes in a colander, giving it a good shake to rough up the edges. Tip the potatoes into the frying pan with the spices and onions and toss together until everything is thoroughly coated in the spices. Tip the contents of the frying pan onto a large baking tray, scraping from the pan any spice that remains. Spread the vegetables out into a single layer, season with black pepper and roast for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add the peppers and courgettes to the tray and toss together thoroughly so once again everything is thoroughly coated in spice. Spread out into a single layer and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisp and everything else is soft and starting to brown.

Meanwhile, place the salmon fillets between pieces of kitchen paper to absorb any excess liquid and set aside. Season with a little salt a few minutes before cooking.

Heat a large frying pan with a little oil, or a dry, ridged griddle pan on a high heat and get it hot but not smoking.  Place the salmon fillets in the hot pan, skin-side down if it has any, and cook for approximately 3 minutes on one side, then flip over and cook for a further minute or so on the other side, giving it a sprinkle of finely grated lemon zest and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Do not try to move the fish around while it is cooking, it will stick until it is cooked. The exact time it will take to cook will depend on the thickness of your fillet.

Serve the fish alongside the roasted vegetables, with a simple rocket or green salad alongside it.

This also works fabulously well using seared tuna steaks rather than salmon.

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