We could eat salmon for every meal, and sometimes, we do. The omega-loaded protein is close to nutritional perfection (just be sure to source safely!) and merges seamlessly with a variety of flavors. This beautiful salmon bowl from blogger Quelcy Kogel’s new cookbook, The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook, is everything we want and more, balancing deliciousness and nutritional-soundness…
Lili was once my neighborhood coffee shop/cafe. Not only was it conveniently close (I could easily stumble there in a pre-coffee stupor), but Heidi, the owner, created a really innovative menu from a very minimal kitchen. (We’re talking hot plates here!) Lili was slinging grain bowls before every magazine and food website had 10 Ways to Make the Best Bowl articles. Their classic kimchi bowl combined brown rice, fresh greens, avocado, hard-boiled egg and an optional lox upgrade, which I always chose. The real distinguishing factor was the bright orange carrot-ginger dressing.
Lili has since switched hands to become Kaibur, but by popular demand, the grain bowl lives on. Since I have a kitchen with more resources, my ode to the Lili bowl includes a lox upgrade to pistachio- and cashew-crusted salmon. Remember to drizzle the dressing generously because that’s the Lili legacy.
The Lili Bowl: Pistachio + Cashew Crusted Salmon with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
Makes 4 servings
For the Pistachio + Cashew Crusted Salmon Sheet Pan:
4 (approximately 4–6 oz each) wild-caught skin on salmon fillets (wild King or your favorite variety)
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
4 baby bok choy, cut in half lengthwise
2 shallots, cut in halves
zest + juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp coarse-grain or Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp honey
¼ cup shelled pistachios
¼ cup unsalted, roasted cashews
2 Tbsp teff flour
1 Tbsp avocado oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
salt + pepper, to taste
For the Carrot-Ginger Dressing:
¼ cup chopped shallots (or the roasted shallots from sheet pan)
½ lb carrots (3 medium), coarsely chopped
¼ cup chopped peeled fresh ginger
¼ cup rice vinegar
juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp Bragg’s amino acids or gluten-free soy sauce
salt, to taste
1 Tbsp sesame oil
½ cup avocado oil
¼ cup water
4 cups cooked wild rice or brown rice
4 hard-boiled eggs
To make the salmon, preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Rinse the salmon and pat it dry with a paper towel. Arrange the salmon, skin side down, on the sheet pan. Add the broccoli florets, bok choy and shallots to the pan.
In a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard and honey. Spoon the mixture over each salmon fillet and the vegetables.
In a food processor, coarsely chop the pistachios and cashews with teff flour and avocado oil so some larger chunks of nuts remain. Spread the nut mixture over the salmon, pressing lightly to adhere. Drizzle the fish and vegetables with the sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake until the salmon is cooked through to your liking and pistachios are golden brown, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven. Transfer the salmon to a tray or cutting board to rest (the residual heat will continue to cook the salmon slightly, so factor that into your desired “doneness” when you pull the fish from the oven).
If the bok choy is roasted to your liking, remove it from the tray as well. For a really crispy, savory broccoli, return the pan, with the broccoli and shallots, to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set it aside while you prepare the dressing.
To make the dressing, roughly chop the roasted shallots once they are cool enough to handle. Use a food processor or high-speed blender to pulse the chopped shallots and carrots until finely ground (almost puréed). Add the chopped ginger, rice vinegar, lemon juice, aminos and salt, and pulse until the ginger and shallots are minced. With the motor running, add the oils together in a slow stream. Add the water and blend until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Thin dressing with additional water, if desired. Store the dressing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To serve, combine 1 cup of wild or brown rice with a heap of baby spinach, a salmon fillet, bok choy, broccoli, a hard-boiled egg, avocado, kimchi and a drizzle of dressing.
Reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Grains Cookbook by Quelcy Kogel, Page Street Publishing Co. 2019.