I know Sunday is going to be Easter, so many of you have probably already chosen the menu for this special holiday. So why am I suggesting to you a different option?
To begin with, I should inform you that, in Italy, the typical Easter meal is a baked lamb (as a Catholic tradition), with many side dishes and a special dessert called “Colomba Pasquale” (Easter Dove). It’s no wonder that, every year at this time, many animal rights associations start advertising against this practice, and suggest vegan or vegetarian alternatives.
When I moved here I learnt that a typical Midwest Easter meal is a huge baked ham, which I had the chance to taste at a friend’s house- it was definitely delicious!!! And I have to admit that, so far, I haven’t heard any kind of animal rights association protest in defense of piglets’ rights. (Why in the world would they inspire less pity than lambs?!?!) Anyway, I am curious- is baked ham also part of the Easter tradition in your area?
Since both the dishes I’ve listed above require many hours to be prepared, they could jeopardize the time you get to spend celebrating the holiday with your family. So perhaps, instead of missing all the fun of Easter morning so you can cook, you could opt for a quick but fancy lunch!
This baked salmon and potatoes will be ready in about one hour, will make a colorful and festive impression to your family, and for sure will make everybody happy (the potatoes will turn out as chips, but more healthy!).
Just one suggestion: when it is time to pick the salmon, consider spending a little more for a “wild caught” instead of a “farm raised” (7 reason to avoid farm raised salmon), so you’ll be sure to eat food which is good for you!
INGREDIENTS FOR 4 to 6 SERVINGS
1 big salmon fillet (better if fresh)
4-6 medium red potatoes (I usually consider 1 potato per person)
1/2 medium sized white onion
2 tbs. canned diced tomatoes (drained)
2 tsp. thyme (fresh or dry)
3 tsp. rosemary (fresh or dry)
1 tbs. crushed red pepper (optional)
4 tbs. olive oil
sea salt to taste
Marinate your salmon by brushing it with a couple tbs. of olive oil, dusting it with the herbs (2 tsp. thyme and 2 tsp. rosemary) and if your family likes spicy food, add also the crushed red pepper. You can cook the whole filet or cut in in slices. In a separate bowl, drain the diced tomatoes from all their water.
In the meanwhile, peel the skin off the potatoes and cut them very thin (I would say about 0.3 inch). If you want them to be perfectly the same thick, use a slicer. Peel and cut the onion into very thin crescents.
In a big bowl, combine the potatoes with the sliced onion, 1 tsp. rosemary, a couple of pinches sea salt, the diced tomatoes, and the remaining olive oil. (I’ve suggested you a quantity but of course, the more olive oil you use to dress your potatoes, the more crunchy and tasty they will be.)
Heat the oven to 420 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment and arrange the potatoes as spread-out as you can on the sheet you have, leaving a spot for the salmon (you may need a second baking sheet for the extra potatoes, if the salmon takes up a lot of room).
Since the potatoes take longer to bake, you will put the trays with *just the potatoes* in the oven and cook them for about 35 minutes first. After 35 minutes they should look golden on the top, so take them out of the oven, flip them upside down (for cooking them also on the other side) and then place the salmon in the spot you left for it.
Cook in the oven for about another 20 minutes. Here two pictures with the whole filet or slices, the first with no herbs at all (how I have to cook it to get my kiddos to eat it!!!), the second marinated as suggested!
Doesn’t it look delicious?! I promise IT IS delicious!
LEARNT IT, MADE IT, LOVED IT!
– Don’t overcook the salmon or it will become dry and tough. You can tell that the salmon is ready when it changes shade of pink, and form a kind of white coating. If you picked a frozen salmon, you may check it after 15 minutes because it could cook faster than a fresh one.
– If you want to be sure that your potatoes get super crunchy, the last 15 minutes of baking use the “broil” option of the oven if you have it.
– Be sure to serve your salmon with some extra sea salt (if somebody would add a bit), and serving it with some sauces aside like mayo or cocktail sauce would be a nice touch, as well.
– Just to be completely informed about Italian Easter Tradition, you should know that (brace yourselves!) we don’t have an Easter Bunny and we don’t do Easter Egg Hunts. I know, what a waste of fun!! Nevertheless, kids receive from parents and relatives huge chocolate eggs, with a surprise hidden inside (usually a toy). Italian Easter Eggs look like these:
I really hope you like this recipe, and please, if you do,
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Much thanks, and have a Happy Easter!