Do that easy meal for a Lent close to residence

Lent is just around the corner, and that means observers eat fish on Fridays.

If you’re a fan of church fish fries, you will likely have to settle for cod as many communities are drastically reducing their menus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But if a nice piece of salmon beckons instead, try this recipe. It’s simple and healthy and combines farro, roasted vegetables and salmon, baked in a zesty lemon and garlic sauce.

Yes, the recipe has several components, but don’t worry about that. Each can be made up to a day in advance and then assembled when it’s time to eat. Or fry the fish and vegetables while you cook the farro. It just depends on whether you want to serve the bowls warm, chilled or at room temperature.

If you don’t like Farro, substitute any favorite grain – white or brown rice, quinoa, bulgar, or wheat berries will work. I built the bowl on a bed of mixed kale, mustard, and baby greens.

If you’re not keen to drown your peels in dressing, a fair amount of lemon and garlic sauce is available. This is a good thing as it can be used to dress up salads, drizzle over fried chicken, or as a dip for just about anything.


Zest and juice of 1 large lemon

2 tablespoons of lemon or regular olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pound boneless and skinless salmon fillet

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup of Farro cooked according to the directions in the package

2 sweet potatoes, diced or cut into half moons

½ bunch of thin asparagus, woody ends broken off and cut into 2-inch pieces

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups mixed salad greens

For lemon yogurt dressing

1 tablespoon rice wine or champagne vinegar

1 large clove of garlic, chopped

½ cup of whole milk yogurt

2 tablespoons of lemon or regular extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of freshly chopped dill

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Make lemon and garlic sauce by whisking together lemon juice and lemon zest, olive oil, chopped garlic, and oregano in a medium bowl. Add a good serving of black pepper and whisk again.

Line a baking sheet with a large piece of foil. Brush a little olive oil over the surface.

Pat the salmon fillet (s) dry with a paper towel, then season with salt on both sides. Place on the foil and drizzle with lemon and garlic sauce. Fold the foil over the fish to create a package.

Prepare the vegetables: Put the diced or sliced ​​sweet potatoes, asparagus and tomatoes in a large bowl, pour the remaining lemon-garlic sauce over it and toss to coat. Place on a second baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and fry until the vegetables are forked and the tomatoes start to pop (about 12 to 15 minutes). Take out of the oven and cover with foil to keep warm.

Place the fish in the oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the salmon is almost cooked in the thickest part. (The time depends on how thick the fillet is.) In the meantime, stir the ingredients for the dressing together in a medium-sized bowl.

Take the fish out of the oven and open the foil to reveal the top of the fish. Rotate the oven to grill.

Fry the fish for 3 to 5 minutes, watching carefully so that it does not burn. Salmon is ready when the top starts to brown and has a slightly crusty texture.

Take the fish out of the oven, let it cool for a few minutes, then cut it into large pieces or peel it with a fork.

Building a bowl: Divide the salad between two large bowls. Spoon over as much cooked farro as you want. Add roasted vegetables around the perimeter, then top with fish. Drizzle over the lemon yogurt dressing and garnish with chopped fresh dill. Serve with a good glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Recipe from Gretchen McKay.

McKay is a contributor to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where she writes and photographs food. She can be found on Twitter @gtmckay.

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