Tasty Tuesday - Pear & Coconut Salmon with Quinoa

I'm always on the look out for new recipes and new ways to prepare fish. It seems like a post a lot of fish recipes up here like my Mediterranean Tuna Cups and my Asian Lettuce Leaf Cups. But to be honest it's only me who really eats fish in our household as hubby really doesn't love it that much.

I eat a lot of tinned tuna and salmon at lunch time either in a salad or in a wrap and if I get really bored with it maybe in a sandwich. When I get a fresh piece of salmon I make sure I treat it with a little respect and cook it up in something special like I did in my Salmon & Apple Slaw recipe. I generally save it for dinner as eating fresh salmon for lunch just seems a little too posh. It's such a treat to cook for me to have fresh salmon that I like to linger over the meal that I prepare it in. Maybe with a glass of chardonnay on the deck as the sun sets..... well now that's asking a bit much. With a newborn in the house and his feed time landing on 6pm getting dinner on the table is a bit of a frantic affair, one which doesn't induce relaxing and lingering feelings that's for sure.

I was inspired to create this recipe from the Cheeky Kitchen's latest recipe The Best Salmon You'll Ever Make. She used coconut oil in her dressing for the salmon. I never thought of using coconut oil as the base of a dressing before. I use it a lot in baking but never in a savoury sense. I adapted her coconut oil dressing for this recipe and it tasted divine. It really added a lovely flavour to the whole dish and I will definitely be using coconut oil again as a dressing.

I generally love to cook salmon in a pan and making the skin all crispy and lovely. However on the odd occasion poaching salmon is also a great way to cook it. It leaves it lovely and soft and falling apart. The salmon soaks whatever flavours you put into the poaching liquid and the possibilities are endless with what flavour combinations you can throw in there. I went with a subtle spring inspired flavour palette. Aromats such as lemon zest, fresh thyme, bay leaf, ginger and garlic along with some chicken stock. I let these ingredients simmer for a minute or two before adding the salmon as this helps infuse the flavours into the poaching liquid helping it flavour the salmon more.

Poaching is a really quick way of cooking salmon or any fish really. I think this 200g piece of salmon took about 5 minutes to poach and 2 minutes to rest in the poaching liquid. You can serve this dish warm or cool depending on the weather. The salmon could be cooked the day before and served cold the next day. I ate this both warm and then again cool the next day and both tasted delicious!

This is a really quick to prepare and serve probably around 30 minutes in total preparation and cooking time. The longest thing to cook is the quinoa and if you had this prepared earlier in the day or even the day before you'd have a quick meal up your sleeve. Finished off with blanched green beans, finely sliced pear and a few chopped brazil nuts scattered around your in like flynn for a quick and pretty good looking meal.

You could substitute the salmon pieces for trout (if you can find it and it's reasonably priced). I remember enjoying a succulent piece of pan fried trout on our holiday around Tasmania a few years ago. We picked it up fresh in a local delicatessen and I cooked it in our little camper van stove. We were parked right on the beach and I think I enjoyed it with a few stir fried veggies and a good glass of wine! mmm good food memories! (pictures below)

Mmmm gourmet cooking camper van style!

Pear & Coconut Salmon with Quinoa

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Keywords: poach main dairy free gluten-free

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 2 x 200g piece of Salmon
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 strips of lemon zest
  • 5 springs thyme
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 cup green beans, topped and tailed
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 pear, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp brazil nuts, roughly chopped
Coconut Dressing
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp fresh coriander, finely sliced
  • salt/pepper
Place the quinoa and water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the quinoa is cooked approx 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a separate large saucepan add the chicken stock, garlic, ginger, bay leaf, strips of zest, thyme and salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1-2 minutes to let the flavours infuse.
Gently slide in the salmon pieces and bring back to a gently simmer. Cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat and let it sit for 2-3 minutes or until it gently flakes apart.
Place the green beans into a microwavable dish and cover with water. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until just cooked through. Remove from water.
To plate up place 1/3 - 1/2 cup of quinoa on the base of a plate, place green beans on top of the quinoa and then finish off with the salmon on top. Garnish with sliced pear and drizzle over the coconut dressing and scatter the brazil nuts around the plate.
Coconut Dressing
In a small bowl place the melted coconut oil, cider vinegar, garlic, thyme, coriander and salt and pepper. Give a quick stir to combine the ingredients and drizzle over the finished dish.
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Are you and your family fish eaters? What is your favourite way to eat fish! I also LOVE and can't go past good old fish and chips ... on the beach of course!

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