Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Crop Share Challenge: Swiss Chard Wrapped Salmon with Grapefruit

This past weekend I decided that I'm going to give myself some Iron Chef style challenges each week by pairing two seemingly random items from that week's share into one dish.  And not like oh such and such with a side of this and a side of that, the items must reside together in the dish.  For fun, whether I wind up with a kitchen win or a kitchen fail, I'll post the recipe and results on the blog each week.  So to kick off my first challenge, I grabbed the Swiss chard and the grapefruit and got to dreaming...again, literally, I'm dreaming in food lately, ha!  And what came to me was to wrap some salmon in the Swiss chard, because hey if folks use banana leaves to wrap fish in, chard has to work, and citrus is always a good idea when it comes to fish, so could we have a winner, winner Crop Share dinner?

Swiss Chard Wrapped Salmon with Grapefruit

2 fillets of wild-caught Sockeye salmon (Sockeye is a great sustainable choice, so snag it when you can, and for more info on sustainable and over-fished seafood, see this great database from the Monterey Bay Aquarium)
2 slices of grapefruit, halved
1 Tbsp butter (for dairy free we use Earth Balance margarine)
1 tsp chopped dill
4 Swiss chard leaves
Olive oil to drizzle

In advance, whip up your dill butter as you'll want it to set up for about an hour in the fridge.  For that just blend together your Tbsp of butter and your tsp of dill and allow it to chill for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a saucepan, bring some water to a boil and toss in your 4 chard leaves for 2-3 minutes, just long enough to turn them from bright to dark green.  Remove from boiling water and immediately rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Lay flat onto a kitchen towel or paper towels and lightly pat to remove any excess water.

On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or in a lightly oiled baking dish, place to chard leaves, slightly overlapping each other and then an inch or two away, repeat with the other two leaves.  Place salmon fillets, skin side down, onto the left edge of the leaves.  Divide the dill butter evenly and spread it on the tops of the salmon, like you're making delicious salmon toast.  And then place two halves of grapefruit on top of each salmon fillet, and spread them out enough so that you're maximizing your grapefruit-touching surface area -- you don't want all the flavor concentrated right in the middle of the fish, you want to spread the love.  Then pick up a fillet on the left side, with the chard leaves under it and gently roll it over so that you're wrapping the rest of the leaves around it.  Place back so that the skin side remains down and repeat with the second fillet.  Your leaves may not wrap the whole way around, and that's okay.

Drizzle the tops with a touch of olive oil and bake at 400 for about 15 minutes.


Omnomnomnomnom!!!!  Because of the general texture of the grapefruit, you really want to think of this as solely a garnish as cutting through it to get a complete bite with the fish and the chard is a bit much and the grapefruit does not want to play along.  So just set your grapefruit slices aside, because they've done their job of imbuing this dish with it's bright citrus flavors.  The chard holds all of the moisture into the fish, and then gives this dish a great earthy flavor.  We served our fillets with herb roasted fingerling potatoes.

So if you're just not a fan of Swiss chard, then using it as a moisture-trapping fish wrap is the way to go, because you could even look at it just like the grapefruit, as mere garnish, and set it aside, because it will still have done it's job of allowing the fish to steam and braise in all it's own wonderful juices and that added dill bitter, while it all gets roasted away.  There's a trifecta of cooking techniques happening all at once to that fish, and it's all thanks to a couple leaves of Swiss chard.

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