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Salmon with Blueberry Butter over Wilted Spinach

Baked salmon fillet with blueberry and rosmarin sauce on white plate, horizontal

1 protein – 1 vegetable – 1 fruit – 1 fat

Sometimes I come upon a creation that makes me swoon–and this is one of those weeks.

A long time ago, maybe two years ago, I was dining at a restaurant in Colorado Springs and ordered this amazing salmon with blueberry butter that I have never forgotten. The butter was heavenly, but it was definitely heavy on the butter and light on the blueberries (not a plan-approved approach to eating and the reason why I was, um, bigger back then). I have thought fondly of that dish for a long time and finally decided to take it on.

  • First, I chose a beautiful cut of salmon so I can enjoy my meal AND get a healthy dose of omega fatty acids.
  • Second, I revisited my blueberry chutney recipe, the one I use on French toast, as a basis for my blueberry butter.  The secret is to cook the berries down more than I do with the chutney, so they are smooth and jam-like.
  • Third, the crazy buttery taste comes from an interesting technique for cooking the fish. You ready? DON’T FLIP THE FISH! Seriously, no matter how compelled you are, no matter how badly it is screaming at you to flip it, resist the urge and leave it alone. The result is that the garlic butter topping literally seeps into the flesh of the fish rather than cooking off in the pan. The reward is that you get to enjoy every last drop of buttery goodness. You’ll be stunned at how little butter it takes to achieve the flavor you’ll have in your mouth.
  • Fourth, to preserve those flavorful pan drippings, I simply wilted some spinach is the already-hot pan, leaving it perfectly cooked and lightly coated in the tiny bit of garlic butter that made its way to the bottom of the pan. A pinch of Morton® Lite Salt, and this entire dish comes together in a snap.

So, a one-dish meal that comes together quickly and offers the flavors of a fine dining experience. Save this one for company–their jaws will hit the floor when they find out where you got the recipe. Tee hee.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice (1 small lemon)
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, lightly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt, divided
  • 2 tsp. butter, softened and divided
  • 2 – 5 oz. salmon fillets
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups baby spinach

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In small saucepan, combine lemon juice, blueberries, vinegar and thyme. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until sauce is reduced by about half.

Mince garlic with 1/4 teaspoon of salt on cutting board (the salt acts as an abrasive and helps to extract the flavor from the garlic). In small dish, combine minced garlic/salt with half of butter (1 teaspoon) with fork until well combined.

Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towel. Rub top of fish with butter mixture and season with pepper to taste.

Heat an oven-proof sauté pan over high heat. When hot, spray generously with cooking spray and gently place salmon fillets into pan. Cook for about two minutes or until edges of fish begin to turn opaque. Without turning or moving fish, remove pan from heat and place in preheated oven. Cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on thickness of fish, until just cooked through (flesh will spring back slightly when pushed on with a finger).

Remove salmon fillets to plates and use a metal spatula to remove any stuck on bits of skin from pan, but do not clean pan. Add spinach and toss to coat with garlic drippings in pan. Cover and let sit a few minutes, spinach will wilt in hot pan with no additional heat required.

Remove blueberry sauce from heat and stir in reserved butter.

Season spinach with remaining salt, toss and add to plates with fish. Pour blueberry sauce over fish before serving.

Makes 2 servings