I’ve eaten salmon twice in the last year a fact that at any other time in my life would seem not so important. But this third plate of pan-seared salmon, that I’m sharing today, stirred up memories from the past year and I found myself looking over my shoulder to take a closer look.
For me, the recipe is sometimes just the tip of the iceberg.
Almost a year ago, not long after suspicion found a place in my heart and two months before the truth finally came out, we had lunch at a small bistro. It was a sweet and quiet place with tiny patio tables shaded by large umbrellas. The air was clear and clean with a hint of a breeze. We shared a bottle of cold white wine and I ordered a beautiful piece of salmon on a bed of tender lettuces dressed with a punchy Dijon vinaigrette. We lingered over the wine and I felt hopeful. That this one day was enough. I hung my hopes on those crisp glasses of wine and thought the beauty of the day was enough to melt the wall between us. It was the last good day.
And it was a several months later, when I was left shattered and shell-shocked, that I made grilled salmon packets to share with you. I read the post earlier this week and my heart broke for the girl I was last summer after she learned the truth. The pain back then was so raw and threatening that pressing it down to try and contain it felt like the only safe thing to do. Her efforts to hide her pain projected onto the pages of this blog as a fun house mirror reflection of herself: distorted and unreal with an inexplicable lightness that mocked her reality. But, now I understand why. She was doing her best to work her way through those first lonely and frightening months and as I read her brave words this week I felt a deep sadness bubble up like a wave. But instead of holding my breath and bracing for its break, I chose to ride it. I let that wave of sadness carry me safely to the shore where I watched it disappear back into the sea.
Now new life is once again springing forward and the air is fresh and clear. I’m tempted to say this third piece of salmon – pan-seared and served on a white bean salad – is the third act in the story of my life for the past year. That life has come full circle, bookended with salmon wrapped in a pretty bow. I could share a pithy life lesson, but the story isn’t over. It’s not a final act, but, instead, a moment in a series of moments that are leading me down a path.
And I’ve only just begun to find my way back home.
Pan-Seared Salmon with White Bean Salad
This is the type of food I’m craving these days – lighter, fresher, and easy to make. I’m sure it’s the season – my backyard looks like a Disney movie with all the birds, bunnies, and new life showing up each day – but I also think it’s the mindset. I’ve made space in my heart and mind to welcome in more inspiration.
And I think about you, the reader on the other side of this post, and what you might be doing these days that are stretching longer into the night. I hope you are finding a place to rest outside with a drink as you let the day roll off and float away. Maybe you’re engaged in quiet chatter, or lost in a book, or letting your mind wander as the sun slowly sinks in the sky. It’s with this in mind that I thought of this pan-seared salmon dish. A dinner so fast and easy that it offers a space of time after the busyness of the day to relax before moving on to the next demand.
While the actual preparation of this salmon and white bean salad takes very little time, it is best to chill the salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to mix and mingle.
For the White Bean Salad
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small garlic clove, minced
- Juice from 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
For the Salmon
- 1/2 pound salmon fillet, cut into two pieces, coated with olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- lemon wedges, for serving
- Mix the mustard, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until combined. Add the beans, tomatoes, cucumber, and chives and toss until it’s all coated evenly in the dressing. Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the salmon, skin side down, to the pan. Cook the salmon for a few minutes until it’s color starts to lighten about 3/4 of the way up the side. Brush the top of each piece with the honey and then flip it over. Cook it for another couple of minutes and remove it from the pan. Serve the salmon on top of the white bean salad with lemon wedges on the side.
- Category: Main Course
- Calories: 585
- Fat: 19.4g
- Carbohydrates: 68.3g
- Fiber: 25.2g
- Protein: 38.7g
- Cholesterol: 41.9g