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Quarantine Kitchen: Lemon-garlic salmon farro bowl

Gretchen McKay
Associated Press 

The Lenten season is upon us, and that means observers are eating fish on Fridays.

If you’re a fan of church fish fries, you’re probably going to have to content yourself with cod, as many parishes are drastically scaling back their menus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But if a nice piece of salmon beckons instead, try this recipe. It’s simple and healthy, bringing together farro, roasted vegetables and salmon baked in a zesty lemon-garlic sauce.

Yes, the recipe has several components, but that’s no reason to fret. Each can be made up to a day in advance and then assembled when it’s time to eat. Or, roast the fish and veggies while you’re cooking the farro. It just depends on whether you want to serve the bowls warm, chilled or at room temperature.

If you don’t like farro, substitute any favorite grain — white or brown rice, quinoa, bulgar or wheat berries all work. I built the bowl on a bed of mixed kale, mustard and baby greens.

Unless you like to drown your bowls in dressing, you’ll end up with a fair amount of leftover lemon-garlic sauce. That’s a good thing, as it can be used to dress salads, drizzle over roasted chicken or as a dipping sauce for just about anything.


 Serves 2.

For lemon-garlic sauce

  • Zest and juice of 1 large lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon-infused or regular olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano 
  • Kosher salt 
  • Freshly ground black pepper 

For salmon :

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless salmon fillet 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • For farro bowl: 
  • 1 cup farro, cooked according to package directions 
  • 2 sweet potatoes, diced or cut into half moons 
  • 1/2 bunch thin asparagus, woody ends snapped off and cut into 2-inch pieces 
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 cups mixed salad greens 
  • For lemon-yogurt dressing 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or champagne vinegar 
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons lemon-infused or regular extra-virgin olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • Pinch of fresh chopped dill 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Make lemon-garlic sauce by whisking together lemon juice and zest, olive oil, minced garlic, and oregano in a medium bowl. Add a good grind of black pepper and whisk again.

Line a cookie sheet with a large piece of foil. Brush a little olive oil over the surface.

Pat salmon fillet(s) dry with a paper towel, then season on both sides with salt. Place on top of foil, and drizzle lemon-garlic sauce on top. Fold the foil over the fish to create a package.

Prepare veggies: Place diced or sliced sweet potatoes, asparagus and tomatoes in a large bowl, pour remaining lemon-garlic sauce over top and toss to coat. Place on a second cookie sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Place in oven, and roast until the veggies are fork tender and tomatoes have started to burst, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and cover with foil to keep warm.

Place fish in the oven, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until salmon is almost cooked through at the thickest part. (Time will vary depending on how thick the fillet is.) Meanwhile, stir together the dressing ingredients in a medium bowl.

Remove fish from oven and open up the foil to uncover the top of the fish. Turn oven to broil.

Broil fish for 3 to 5 minutes, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. Salmon is done when the top is starting to brown and has a slightly crusty texture.

Remove fish from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, then cut into large pieces or flake with a fork.

Build bowl: Divide salad greens between two large bowls. Spoon as much cooked farro on top as you like. Add roasted veggies around the perimeter and then top with fish. Drizzle lemon-yogurt dressing on top, and garnish with chopped fresh dill. Serve with a nice glass of sauvignon blanc.

Recipe by Gretchen McKay