Can you call something a salad if it doesn't have greens in it? After making this Warm Couscous and Salmon Salad, I got to thinking what other ways could I flake perfectly baked salmon on top of yummy ingredients? I had just 8 ounces of orecchiette pasta (translates as "little ears") left over from another recipe, so I decided to boil it in salty water and reserve some of the cooking liquid. I simultaneously threw 3/4 a pound of center-cut fresh Atlantic salmon in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.
The only thing left to decide was what kind of flavor profile I wanted to mix with the salmon and pasta. I decided to burst cherry tomatoes and combine with savory shallot, lots of garlic, white wine and briny kalamata olives and capers. The result? A pasta salmon salad that Jim calls, "Awesome."
2 tablespoons of olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch EVOO)
1 shallot, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup of white wine
1 handful of kalamata olives, rough chopped
1 tablespoon of capers
3/4 pound of salmon
Kosher salt and pepper
8 ounces Orecchiette pasta (or pasta of your choice)
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
2 tablespoons butter (I like Kerrygold)
Place the salmon on a foil-lined sheet pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add the pasta. Boil until al dente 6-8 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water before draining.
While salmon bakes and the pasta boils, we are going to build beautiful flavor in a large skillet. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat and saute the shallot until soft, but not brown. Add the garlic and saute for one minute. Pour in the wine and let it evaporate by half. Add the tomatoes, olives, and capers.
Bring it all together
When the salmon is done, it can sit on the sheet pan until you are ready to flake and add LAST to the pasta salad.
When the pasta is done, add the drained pasta and reserved liquid. Add the butter and stir gently to make a luscious sauce.
Stir the salmon in gently, serve with some topper - little parsley or shaved parmesan.
"Amazing!" -Jim Begley