A lightning-fast dinner to prepare, your best friend on a busy weeknight! At first, I wanted to call it “Healthy Salmon Dinner” or something along those lines, but I am a bit tired of the constant labeling of recipes as “healthy” or “good for you.”  Anything can be good for you if approached the right way.   A slice of apple pie?  No problem.  A slice of apple pie with two scoops of vanilla ice cream drenched in caramel sauce, after a dinner of fried chicken with biscuits and gravy?  Well, not your best option, but if you do it only once in a blue moon, even that is not a crime!  Eat sensibly and enjoy your food… 😉

For this dish, I combined two different recipes, one from Fine Cooking, another  from Food and Wine. As you may have noticed, I cook often from both publications, love them!  Joining salmon, spinach, kalamatas, and raisins might seem like a stretch, but we were both swooning over our plates. Since a little starch never hurt anyone, I made some orzo perfumed with lemon zest as a side dish. Awesome dinner!

(adapted from Fine Cooking & Food and Wine magazines)

4 salmon filets, skin on
1/4 cup honey
4 tsp soy sauce
1 + 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
3 bunches of spinach (16 to 18 oz)
1 shallot, diced
1/3 cup Kalamata olives, halved or diced
1/4 cup golden raisins
squeeze of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Combine the honey, soy, and five-spice powder in a small bowl, mixing it all well. Put the pieces of salmon, skin side down, on a plate or baking dish just large enough to hold them side by side.  Pour the honey mixture over the salmon, flip them over, so that the skin is now up.   Let them sit in this honey glaze for 15 minutes as you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Meanwhile, turn your oven broiler on.

Place a colander over a bowl or plate near your stove top. Pour a little water on a large non-stick skillet set on medium-high heat.  When the water is very hot, add half of the spinach leaves, and move them around quickly using tongs until they start to wilt.  Transfer them to the colander, and wilt the rest of the spinach leaves the same way. Add them to the colander, and wipe the skillet dry.

Start broiling the salmon.  Place the pieces skin side down on a baking dish lined with foil and slightly coated with a spray of olive oil to prevent sticking.  Brush the top of the salmon with a little of the honey glaze, saving the rest in a small bowl.  Total broiling time will be 5 to 6 minutes, depending on how thick your filets are, and how you like them cooked.

Heat 2 Tbs olive oil in the skillet, when the oil is very hot add the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the kalamata olives, the raisins, stir them all together for a minute or so. Add the spinach, toss around to warm up, squeeze a little lemon juice all over, and season with salt and pepper.  Remove the spinach mixture to a serving platter, add another squeeze of lemon juice to the honey glaze in the small bowl, add to the skillet over medium heat, until it bubbles and heats through.   Place the broiled salmon over the bed of spinach, drizzle with the honey marinade, and serve.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  You know those bags of baby spinach that sell in the grocery store for 4 bucks (or more), and you must cook at least two bags to feed you and your partner?  You don’t need those.  ;-)  Recently, a remark by  Rachael Ray in one of her shows perked my interest.  She said that those humble looking spinach bundles, tied together with a  nasty metal string, will work nicely in many preparations.

I got three of those – each for $1.30 – and was very pleased by how they wilted but kept some structure and a more intense taste than their organic baby cousins.   Simply use a large knife and cut them above the string very close to the leaves, to get rid of all the stem part (compost those, if you can).  Drop the leaves in a large bowl (or sink) full of water, swirl them around a few times, and dry in a salad spinner.  They are ready to use.

The salmon – my first time oven-broiling it, by the way – cooked to perfection, the honey in the marinade giving it that irresistible copper tone, and the spinach combined with the olives and raisins, raised the bar of this meal quite a bit.  If you are watching your carbs intake, you can always omit the orzo.

ONE YEAR AGO: Butterscotch Brownies

TWO YEARS AGO: Vegetable Autumn Soup

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  1. Second to agree with your statement…. I like healthy recipes, but it’s not the only type of food that calls my attention, taste comes first, and the eventual excess is part of life too 😉

    I think your blog has the perfect mixture of everything, even though it is for the most part geared to a leaner approach to cooking

    very nice recipe, I like the match of olives and raisins with the spinach


    • Celia, I bet the Tasmanian salmon is to die for! Wish I could try some. Salmon was not my preferred fish, but Phil slowly converted me into a salmon lover all the way. Still, my number 1 fish would be sea bass, and maybe ahi tuna comes second… Cannot have enough of them


  2. I like your approach. Katherine always says she’d never eat low-fat lasagna, because some foods just wouldn’t taste right low fat. She says if I want low fat, I’ll eat salmon. Some healthy foods feel forced. Pick the right ingredients and healthy tastes great. This dish is just wonderful by the way.


    • Some healthy foods feel forced…. SO TRUE! Can I sign below that? 😉

      another pet peeve of mine is turning a classic, meat loaded dish -say, feijoada – and come up with a tofu-version and call it “vegetarian feijoada.” That just kills me. Call it vegan beans, or beans in veggie stew, but NOT feijoada. Pleeeeease! 😉


  3. Sally.. John Mortimer..British playwright/writer said.. I don’t want to give up all the things I like to eat and drink ..so that I can have 3 extra years in a nursing home.( paraphrased by me). I agree with you that every so often eat what you want!! Barb

    This will be our dinner one night this week


    • I must make beet greens one of these days. Phil is not too wild about beets, so I tend to ignore them at the grocery store, and resist as much as I can before bringing them home. But even when I do it, I end up composting the greens (oh, the shame!)


    • Thanks, Kalyn! It was really delicious. A bit frantic to prepare since it all comes together so quickly, otherwise it would be a great dish for company. As it was, me rushing like a mad woman around the kitchen, I think I’ll keep it for a “dinner for two” scenario.


  4. Pingback: Making a Fish Pie Video | Cooking Video Recipes

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