Everyone has their own definition of “comfort food”. For me, it is anything eaten out of ONE bowl. Something about snuggling up with a bowl of warm food and a fork just makes me happy. I think it stems from childhood memories of giant bowls of chicken & dumplings at my grandparents’ house. In search of a little comfort, I raided the fridge and pantry for something that would turn my piece of salmon into a bowl of happiness and this is where I ended up.
I started with a piece of organically farmed salmon. Eating farmed fish is very important. You MUST find balance in your diet between wild and farmed or the wild stocks will eventually be depleted. That being said, choose your farmed fish carefully. Ask your fishmonger questions about the farms. Make sure it comes from a reputable source. You might be wondering why I called my salmon “organic”. The United States does not yet have standards for labeling seafood as “organic”. There are salmon farms in the UK area that produce salmon which is certified as organic by the European Union. They do not use animal byproducts, hormones, or antibiotics. The salmon is raised in ocean pens where the water is pristine. While I enjoy wild salmon, traditionally farmed salmon, and the organic salmon… the organic salmon is my favorite. It has great flavor, the quality is consistent, and it stays moist however I prepare it. It’s a winner.
My salmon has the skin still on it because it is going to be grilled with the skin side down. The skin is very easily removed after it is cooked. I gave it a little bath with some freshly chopped rosemary, olive oil, and Italian seasoning and let it rest for a few minutes before my husband grilled it. (If you are planning to top it the same way I did, shy away from salt. Feta has tons of salt.) He put it skin side down directly on the grill over medium heat.
- Olive oil, fresh rosemary, and Italian seasoning
- 1 cobb of fresh corn, charred
- 2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons crumbled Feta cheese
- Cooked brown rice or quinoa
While the salmon was cooking, I gathered everything else I wanted to use: 1 cobb of corn (charred by placing it directly on the grill for a few minutes before cooking the salmon), a little crumbled bacon, and crumbled feta. I combined them all and set them aside while the salmon finished cooking. Again, the rule of thumb for cooking fish is about ten minutes per inch of thickness (measure it at its thickest point).
When the salmon came back inside, I nestled it on top of some Quinoa and brown rice. I added some rosemary to it while it was cooking.
This was the perfect base for my bowl of deliciousness. Then, I topped it with the corn, bacon, and feta.
The verdict: it was everything I was looking for! The rosemary in the quinoa AND on the salmon provided the continuity that I really hoped it would. It really tied all these different flavors together. A touch of smokiness from the bacon. And I really didn’t feel bad about this at all. Salmon and quinoa are amazingly healthy foods. Corn… not bad. Bacon and feta? A big of an indulgence but in such a small quantity. It was light, refreshing, and filling.
While the grill was still on, we put a few halved peaches on there to enjoy after dinner. Just for a few minutes until they were warm, a little bit softened, and charred. It happens quickly because they have so much natural sugar in them. We topped them with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce (a little splash of bourbon in the peach is a nice touch for the adults, too).
It may be fall, but this dinner really felt like summer. This meal speaks to both seasons. Feta and corn reminds me of summer, but rosemary always screams fall to me. You can definitely enjoy this year-round.