As much as I'd love to post a pretty photo of Giada's Butternut Vanilla Risotto for this week's Fall Favorites theme for IHCC, I can't do it. So here's another Giada dish, one that I enjoyed (stop the presses!). One that I enjoyed so much, we ate it twice. I can't even believe it myself. It's one thing for me to love a Giada recipe, but it's a whole other ball of wax for me to love a Giada dish that includes the most vile fish on the planet. We're talking salmon. Shudder. I know everybody and their mother loves salmon, smearing it with maple syrup and lemon and whatever the hell else you'd put on it, but it makes me gag. I've always found it revolting, but maybe that's because people keep pouring friggin' pancake syrup on it.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I started researching all of the fun nutritional information I needed and found that I was happily on the right track already. Then I discovered the harrowing truth. Babies need lots of DHA (an omega-3 fatty acid) for brain development, 600 mg a day according to my OB. That's more than twice the amount found in most prenatal vitamins. One good source of DHA? You guessed it. Salmon. Yes, you can find supplements in lots of health food stores to make up for the difference, but they can be expensive, and I'm already taking two horse pills a day. I thought I'd go out on a limb and try to include a little salmon in my diet (Doctor Marvelous said 6 oz. a week would cut it). This recipe was my first attempt, and it was actually delicious. So good I called my mom to tell her.
I've decided the Baby Bean has chosen to make me like salmon so I'll eat more of it and he will become a Noble Prize winning super genius. Or just a regular kid, that's be pretty awesome, too.
Whole Wheat Linguine with Lemon, Basil, and Salmon
Adapted from Giada's Kitchen
1/2 pound whole-wheat linguine
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (4-ounce) pieces salmon1 tsp. dried basil
3 tablespoons capers
1 lemon, zested (OF COURSE!)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add the garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.
Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Add the fish to the pan and cook until medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the salmon from the pan.
Add the basil, capers, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the spaghetti mixture and toss to combine. Set out 4 serving plates or shallow bowls. Place 1/2 cup spinach in each bowl. Top with 1/4 of the pasta. Top each mound of pasta with a piece of salmon. Serve immediately.