Monday, July 5, 2010

Salmon for Introverts

I’ll have a real picture as soon as I can figure out how this damn camera phone works.

Every time my friends John and Mike get an invitation to the same event as me, Mikey asks, “Is Beth going to be there?” The answer is often “no.” My partner, Beth, likes a quiet, intimate setting with a nice meal and a chance for a long conversation.

John and I belong to a circle of friends that, quite frequently, sings bawdy songs at the top of our voices in a space packed with as many of us as will fit.

So to give our introverted partners a chance to bond, I arranged dinner with Beth, John, and Mike at my house. John and I conducted an entire conversation to the tune of “America, F*** Yeah” (NSFW) while Beth and Mike embarked on an in-depth mutual fascination. In another room.

When it was time to serve, we turned to Beth and Mike. They were so deep in a conversation about yoga and modern art that they did not even hear us sing, “It’s dinnertime, F*** YEAH!”

Eh. How did we manage to attract these gentle people, who assert themselves so differently—and so much more quietly—than we do? I don’t know about John, but I used recipes like this to entice my introverted sweetheart into loving me back.

Salmon, Spinach Pasta, and Salad with Beet and Fennel
This meal would have served six. There were leftovers.

The Salmon
2 lb salmon fillets
5 springs rosemary
1 T olive oil
3 T lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Pick the leaves off the rosemary stalks and chop them. Mix all ingredients but the salmon. Rub the seasoning mix on the cut side of the fish. Refrigerate for 1 or 2 hours.

Broil or grill the fish for 8-10 minutes or until cooked to desired degree of firmness.


The Pasta

1 lb whole wheat penne
2 T olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1 lb spinach leaves, washed and dried
1 splash of white wine
½ c Parmesan cheese
A grating of nutmeg
A grind of black pepper

Boil water and heat a pan. Pour the pasta in the boiling water. About 5 minutes before the pasta is cooked, pour the olive oil into the pan and swirl it around. Sauté the garlic for 30 seconds. Toss in the spinach and sauté for three or four minutes. Pour in a splash of wine, cover, and steam for a minute more. Take the pan off the heat.

The pasta should be about done. Drain it well. Throw it in the same pan with your spinach, the cheese, and the nutmeg and pepper. Toss to coat the pasta and serve immediately.


The Salad
1 cup cooked diced beets
1 cup sliced fennel (stalks and leaves are great!)
1 head Boston lettuce (I used red from Dehn’s Garden)
Balsamic vinaigrette
Moisten the beets with a teaspoon or two of dressing. Toss the greens, beets, and fennel with a little more of the dressing. That’s it!


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