When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

From the grill: Wild salmon and shrimp

I absolutely love eating in the summer.  Our weekly local produce box and trips to the farmers' market inspire colourful, healthy meals made with incredible tasting fresh foods, and it seems that every week something new comes into season for us to get excited about and enjoy.  Lately the four of us have been making a family excursion to our favourite specialty food shop on Saturday mornings, where we all have fun browsing and choosing items to accompany our fresh veggies for weekend dinners.  Matt and I get great pleasure out of working together in the late afternoons to create something for all of us that looks wonderful and tastes even better!

This past Saturday we were excited to find fresh wild salmon at the fish counter.  In season now, wild salmon is a tasty and healthy choice for dinner.  It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and compared to farmed salmon, it is lower in toxins, naturally pink in colour, and does not carry with it the environmental impact that salmon farming practices do.  Wild salmon is easy to prepare on the grill, too -- Matt dressed ours simply with fresh parsley and lemon slices, and paired it with some grilled shrimp to make dinner a real treat!

Grilled Wild Salmon and Shrimp

two wild salmon fillets
a dozen large, fresh raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
several tablespoons of olive oil
two tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs (we used parsley, basil, and oregano)
one clove of garlic, minced
one lemon (thinly slice half of it and leave the other half intact)
sea salt and pepper, to taste

About an hour before you plan to eat, place a shallow layer of olive oil in a dish.  Add about a tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley, basil, and oregano and a minced clove of garlic to the oil and stir to combine.  Add shrimp to the dish; toss to coat shrimp with olive oil mixture.  Set dish in the refrigerator for about an hour, so the shrimp can absorb the other flavours.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.  Brush both sides of each salmon fillet with olive oil.  Place fillets on the grill with the skin side down.  Sprinkle each fillet with chopped fresh parsley, sea salt and pepper to taste, and then place lemon slices on top.   Grill for 7 minutes on the first side, then remove lemon slices and set them aside.  Carefully slide a spatula in between the flesh and the skin of each fillet.  Leave the skin on the grill, and flip the flesh of each fillet over so that it is once again sitting on top of the skin to cook the second side.  Place lemon slices back on top of fillets and grill for another 6 or 7 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.

While the salmon is cooking, thread the shrimp onto skewers.  (We use stainless steel ones; if you use wooden ones, be sure to soak them in water first.)  In the last few minutes of cooking time for the salmon, place the shrimp skewers on the grill and cook for 2 minutes on the first side.  Flip skewers and cook shrimp for another 2 minutes.  Remove shrimp from the grill and squeeze fresh lemon juice over them.  Serve alongside salmon fillets.

This wild salmon and shrimp duo was scrumptious along with a brown and wild rice medley and a salad with lettuce, spinach, pea shoot greens, loads of veggies, and a simple homemade lemon vinaigrette.  What's not to love about that?   

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