Share this Post
Prepare to have this Moroccan-inspired recipe on rotation! It’s simple and quick, while also beautifully festive. The red pomegranate seeds and green fennel fronds will have everyone excited for the holiday season!
Why we love it
With its high omega-3 fatty acid content, wild-caught salmon is the nutritional powerhouse of this recipe. Research has linked higher intakes of Omega-3’s to various health benefits including preventing cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, cancer, age-related macular degeneration, and other illnesses. Consuming this healthy fat reduces inflammation, supports cognitive function, infant health and neurodevelopment, and more! If you want to learn more about why fatty fish is the most reliable source of Omega-3s, check out this great blog post.
Let’s talk about the lesser-known and possibly intimidating ingredient in the recipe: fennel. Fennel can be eaten raw or cooked. When raw, fennel has a crunchy texture and a flavor similar to licorice or anise. When cooked, it is a great addition to any winter dish to provide a unique, slightly sweet and warming flavor.
Research suggests that fennel is very beneficial for inflammatory GI disorders. A compound called falcarinol is found in Apiaceae family vegetables such as carrots, parsnips, fennel, celery, and certain herbs. The falcarinol in these foods may help alleviate inflammatory disorders! Falcarinol has even been shown to help prevent cancer. It is recommended that fennel is eaten raw to get the most benefits, as its falcarinol content is reduced with cooking.
If you’re like me, you might find fennel a bit mysterious. Recipes typically focus on using the fennel bulb… what can be done with the stalks? Can we eat them? Can the fronds be saved?!
Fennel stalks are loaded with the same warming flavor as the bulb, but are quite fibrous. Here are some ideas for using the stalks:
- Roughly chop the stalks and add to your homemade broth or stock.
- Use the stalks when cooking fish. You can lay a few stalks and fronds alongside the fish, and either braise in a pan or roast in the oven. The fennel stalks will infuse the fish with its sweet flavor!
- Substitute fennel stalks instead of celery in any recipe. Fennel stalks look similar to celery stalks, but they have an anise-like flavor. You can use finely diced fennel stalks for the celery that is commonly called for in mirepoix (the classic flavor base of sautéed carrot, onion and celery).
Fennel fronds can be used in place of fresh herbs like dill or tarragon. Here are some ideas to use the fronds:
- Add the chopped fronds to a salad, especially if the salad contains fennel.
- Use the fronds in a marinade. The fennel fronds can be mixed with garlic and other herbs and added to the liquid marinade for fish or meat.
- Add the fronds to soup during the last few minutes of simmering for extra flavor.
- Use fennel fronds in your homemade pesto or sauce.
Roasted Miso-Pomegranate Salmon
- 1 – 1.5 lb of wild-caught salmon filets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large shallots (sliced into thin rings), or half a yellow onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 fennel bulbs – very thinly sliced (save the fronds!)
- ½ cup white wine or sherry (or, use ½ cup broth plus a big splash of apple cider vinegar instead)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons miso
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 orange, zest and ¼ cup juice
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (see original recipe for instructions on making your own)
- ½ teaspoon salt and pepper
Garnish : ¼- ½ cup pomegranate seeds, fennel fronds
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Make the salmon marinade by whisking marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour over the salmon, coating it well. Let marinate 15 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Heat oil over medium in an extra large skillet (preferably oven-safe). Sauté the fennel bulb and shallots/onion for 4-5 minutes, stirring until golden and slightly tender. Add wine and season generously with salt and pepper. Simmer gently until the wine has evaporated. Let the fennel finish cooking in the oven with the salmon.
- Place the salmon in the oven to roast (skin-side down). It can be placed over the braised fennel, or on a separate pan. Pour any remaining marinade over the salmon. Depending on the size, thickness and the way the salmon is cut, cooking time will vary. For individual portions, check after 10 minutes. Large filets will likely take 15 minutes, and extra large thick filets may take even longer. Better to err on the side of under than over, so make sure to check the salmon every few minutes.
- When the salmon is cooked, scatter with pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs for color before serving.
Adapted from Feasting at Home
Want to learn how to create and prepare recipes like this?
Join our Natural Food Chef Program! Picture yourself in your kitchen surrounded by nothing but organic vegetables, whole grains, top-quality meats, eggs and a range of the more unusual things like pâté, kimchi, kefir and bone broth. If you resonate with the idea of creating delicious meals that are not only healthy but downright regenerative, then join us for our 15-week program!
Daina Rasutis is a current student of NTI’s Nutrition Therapist Master Program. She plans to use her certification to spark a craving for health through movement, sustainable living and, of course, nourishing food. Follow Daina’s cooking creations and lifestyle tips on Instagram: @tabletocrave
Image use permission given by Table to Crave
Share this Post