Oui, oui, you need this at your dinner table.
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!
- 1/2 pound salmon fillets (2 4-oz portions)
- 1 finely chopped garlic clove
- 2 dashes of salt
- 1 or 2 medium-sized whole tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon capters
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts
- 5-oz salad mix
- 1 dash of black pepper
- 2 tablespoons herbes de provence
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 oz white wine or rose
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 a lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon lavender
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon summer savory
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons tarragon
Instructions1. Make sure the salmon scales are completely removed, for a crispy, crunchy skin. Lightly salt the salmon, and place skin side down, in a container. 2. Prepare marinade by whisking herbes de provence (basil, oregano, thyme, savory, rosemary, and tarragon), olive oil, wine, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, lavender, and Dijon mustard. Reserve half to drizzle over the finished salmon when serving. To the remaining marinade, add the garlic and pour the mixture over the salmon. Cover and let rest at least one hour and up to eight hours. 3. To prepare the salmon, heat some oil over medium high heat. Remove the salmon from the marinade and pat the skin side dry. Place skin side up, sprinkle with salt and let rest 5 minutes. 4. When the oil is hot add the salmon, skin side up. Sear the top of the salmon until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fish and allow to finish cooking. Exact cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the filet. 5. Prepare the salad: With the stem side down, slice each tomato in half. Lay the cut side down, then make ½- inch slices working from the tip towards the stem end. Working with 2 slices at a time, cut these into ½-inch strips. 6. Heat a little olive oil in a pan. When the oil is shimmering add the garlic and cook quickly until lightly browned; 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and capers and cook until the tomatoes are softened, another 1-2 minutes. 7. Remove from heat and toss in a bowl with mixed green, pine nuts, a little extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil and pepper. 8. To serve, divide the heirloom salad into 4 servings. Place the salmon on top of the salad and drizzle with the remaining marinade. Garnish with micro-greens. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.