Around 7:15 am we wake up to either loud playful gibberish or screaming. It all depends on what side of the bed our toddler happens to wake. No matter which way our living and breathing alarm goes off, we both roll out of bed, wipe the sleep from our eyes and hit the daily routine. Ollie gets a "milkshake" in the morning because he doesn't like to drink milk straight quite yet. He usually gets a peanut butter banana shake with whole milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon (come to think of it, that's probably why he doesn't like it plain but I can't blame him, it's pretty delicious). He takes his daily shake on the couch on dads' lap while catching up with the gang on Sesame Street. It's a pretty solid way to start the day.
Eventually, after everyone has been fed, caffeinated and dressed, my husband leaves for work and the toddler and I spend the day running, picking up sticks, trying to eat rocks, doing laundry, napping and attempting to throw a balanced dinner together. Some days everything comes together and we get to eat a satisfying, healthful meal and other days my son wants to be pushed in a cardboard box all day and it's all we can do to get something other than cheez its and blueberries in our mouths. On those days, when my attention leans a bit more than normal, a low maintenance dinner is necessary. Cue a quick cooking protein, a bright herb mixture and pre-washed greens (with a glass of wine for me, please).
grilled salmon with chimichurri
This dish comes together quickly. If you have time the day before to whirl the chimichurri ingredients in the food processor or blender for a few seconds, it's gloriously fast. Just throw it in an airtight container and refrigerate it until you need it.
- 1 cup parsley leaves
- zest of one lemon
- juice from half of the lemon
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- large pinch of kosher salt
- 1 large salmon filet (about 2 pounds), skin on
(side note) This will make a half pint jar of vinaigrette, so you'll have lots of extra to use the rest of the week. Woot! Also, if you don't already make your dressings in a mason jar, get on that. It's so easy. Just cap it, shake it and pour it on. Then cap it and refrigerate.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- 1/2 tablespoon grainy mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 12 cups baby kale
- 2 cups peeled and grated daikon
- 2 cups grated cucumber (no need to peel)
- 3 green onion
- To make the chimichurri, whirl the first six ingredients for the salmon together in a food processor or blender until well blended and the parsley is finely chopped. (If making ahead, place in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight)
- Make the vinaigrette by combining all of the ingredients into a lidded jar. Shake well and set aside. (see side note above)
- Pre-heat the grill for zone cooking with high heat on one side of the grill and medium on the other. If you are using a charcoal grill, push the hot coals to one side to keep one side a bit cooler and if you are using a gas grill, you can merely turn the heat to medium if you only have one burner.
- With an oil soaked paper towel and a pair of tongs, grease the grill grate to prevent the fish from sticking.
- Rub the salmon with the chimichurri, reserving about 3 tablespoons. Place the fish skin side down over direct heat until the skin is seared, about three minutes. Move the fish to the cooler part of the grill (do not flip, keep it skin side down) and let it cook until it begins to flake with a fork and is just cooked through, about 9-12 minutes more, depending on the thickness of the fish. Transfer the fish to a cutting board and cut into 6 hefty sized vertical filets.
- When the fish is just off the grill, combine the salad ingredients and toss in about 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette. The greens should be lightly coated, not drowning in the dressing, just enough to make them shimmer. Divide the salad among 6 bowls and top with each with a piece of salmon and a drizzle of the chimichurri.