The Mighty Spoon: Pretty in pink

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I’ve lived away from home for five years, and I still struggle sometimes to balance my diet. While it’s easy (and cheap) to make a big batch of lentil soup or vegetarian lasagna that lasts a week, I end up missing out on the protein, iron, fatty acids and other good things that come in fish and meat. For a long time, my only real knowledge of how to make fish involved the use of a can opener and some sharp cheddar; but while a tuna melt is great, it can get a little boring after a while.

I recently nailed down this quick salmon recipe, and it’s so delicious that I can’t believe I haven’t been making it all my life. The easiest way to get a good piece of salmon is to buy it from the butcher behind the counter at the grocery store rather than grab something pre-packaged. A good poaching piece will be at least half an inch thick. Buy the fish on the same day you plan to use it; fresher is better, and if it’s been shipped frozen into the grocery store, it won’t hold up to another freezing while raw.

This ingredient list is for one piece of salmon, but it’s easily multiplied. If you don’t have wine, just add another half cup of water. You can chill the leftover salmon in the fridge and eat it cold on salads or in a sandwich the next day. For a filling meal, I’ll serve this with steamed veggies (the bagged, frozen kind will do just fine in a pinch) and brown or basmati rice.



1 salmon fillet, roughly 150–200 grams, with the skin removed (ask the butcher to do this so you don’t have to wrestle with it)

½ cup dry white wine

¼ cup water

1 shallot, thinly sliced (optional)

¼ tsp dried dill

Salt and pepper


Combine wine, water, shallot and dill in a skillet. Add salmon (it shouldn’t be fully submerged) and sprinkle top of fillet with a little salt and pepper.

Cover the skillet tightly with a lid (or foil) and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow salmon to simmer, covered, for eight to 10 minutes, until the it is opaque in the middle.

Remove skillet from heat and let sit, covered, for five minutes. Discard liquid before eating.

>– Inspired in part by Starting Out >by Julie van Rosendaal

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