• 1 tablespoon toasted walnut oil (you can use olive oil)
• 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts (sliveered almonds are also great)
• 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese
• 1 large leek (you can substitute green garlic or spring onions)
• 4-6 fresh tarragon or thyme stems (you can substitute your herb of choice)
There's a good chance you have 1 cup of white wine, salt and pepper, 1 garlic clove, 2 bay leaves, and extra virgin olive oil on hand -- but if not, now's your chance to stock your larder!
1. Prep time: Heat oven to 400 degrees, bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil in a covered pot, and double-line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the leek in half lengthwise, rinse thoroughly, then slice it into thin strips (reserving the dark green leaves whole). Wash and chop your kale into 1" lengths. Thinly slice a garlic clove and the large shallot (or a small onion). Zest and juice the lemon then mince the scallions. Add the quinoa to the boiling water, lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. All the real work is done!
2. Onward to salmon: Perfect time to get the salmon into the oven. Lay out the dark green leeks on the foil and cover with half the sliced leeks and fresh herbs, all the sliced shallot and garlic, and 2 bay leaves. Rest the salmon on top of the greens. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper and rub with olive oil. Cover the salmon with the remaining fresh herbs and leeks. Bring up the edges of the foil so you can add the wine. Seal the edges together to form a compact tent around the fish. Into the oven it goes for 25-30 minutes.
3. Pilaf it up: Top your quinoa with the kale and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow it to steam for 5 more. In a large serving bowl, combine half the lemon juice, all of the lemon zest, scallions, walnut oil (or olive oil), pine nuts and goat cheese. When the quinoa and kale are cooked, tip them into the the bowl and toss to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper and the remaining lemon juice if desired.
4. Countdown to dinner: Remove the salmon from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Set the table. Unwrap and move the fish to a serving platter. Discard the dark green leek ends. Top it with the aromatic vegetables and jus.
Last step? Pour yourself (another) glass of crisp white wine. You deserve it. Why? Because dinner is served.
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).