French cuisine may be known for cheese, wine, and all things covered in butter, but healthy food is not tough to find (if you know how to look for it). The southern region of France belongs to the Mediterranean region, and its food shares qualities with the renowned Mediterranean diet, including seafood, fresh vegetables, olive oil, and a bold use of flavorful herbs and spices. (For proof, check out this healthy tomato-onion galette recipe.)
For a heart-healthy dinner option, cardiologist and chef Mike Fenster, MD, demonstrates how to do French cooking at its finest—and its healthiest—with a dijon-marinated salmon fillet over a warm heirloom tomato salad.
These Mediterranean ingredients are seasoned with a flavor profile unique to the southern regions of France: herbs de provence, fresh lavender, and (of course) white wine. Herbs de provence is a spice blend used throughout southern France, and it typically includes thyme, tarragon, rosemary, and savory (an herb with a minty-peppery flavor), but the recipe varies. This unique blend of herbs, along with the lavender and dijon mustard, will make this dish stand out from other salmon recipes.
To round out the meal with veggies, Dr. Mike recommends a warm heirloom tomato and wilted green salad, which is tossed in the same marinade as the salmon. This is a great trick to add cohesion between components of a meal when assembling an entree.
Serve the salmon on top of the heirloom tomato salad. This adds visual interest because the elements are stacked vertically (see more plating tips here). The complementary flavors of the salmon and the salad will also fuse together and make it easier to get a little of both in each bite, so you can really enjoy the fresh flavors of southern France!