If you ever wanted to watch a room full of men curl up into fetal position simultaneously.  Then just show them a video of the male genitourinary exam.

There’s a lot of poking and prodding that goes on.  A lot of sticking your fingers into places that they really have no business being stuck into.

A lot of “You should use your pinky to do this because it’s the least painful”.

Anything with the words “least painful” that involves testicular handling elicits visceral responses from those who actually have testicles.  Some went screaming from the room.  Some averted their eyes and ears.  Some slept through the whole thing.  It was truly a mixed bag of reactions.


As for me?  Well, I was under the desk, curled up into a ball waiting for the whole ordeal to be over.  Not because I have testicles. (I don’t.)  Not even out of empathy for those who do have testicles (really, that’s the price you pay for being able to pee on the side of the road during a marathon while I am relegated to a Port-a-Potty.  Ugh.).

But because tomorrow, from the hours of 6:15 to 9:30.  I am going to have to actually perform a male genitourinary exam.

Lord, give me strength.


Thankfully, this is not the old days when you learned such exams by performing them on your classmates.  Because, you know.  That would be awkward.

In fact, the only peace of mind I have about this situation is that I will be performing the exam on someone who is getting paid to let me do it.  In fact, someone who has been trained to instruct me during the process.  (Thank god for standardized patients.)

Not only that, but given the fact that this person has chosen to have his testicles mishandled by unscrupulous med students.  Day in and day out.  I truly have doubts about the stability of his mental health.  I hear they get paid well, but still.  Can any amount of money really make up for the pain and trauma that these people almost certainly endure? (Doubtful.)


Given the fact that this is all going to be done a few hours after I’ve just taken an exam on the kidney, which a third of the class fails.  Ever year.  Since the 90s.  A bracket that I am fully expecting to fall into given my disdain for renal pathology.

I figured I need all the mental prowess I can get.  Hence, salmon!  Brain food!  Omega 3’s!  All that good stuff.

I actually ate this meal, or something similar to it, on a first date I went on a while ago.  Given that the guy never called me again,, this dish was the only positive thing I got out of that experience.  I’m always looking on the bright side, though.  And, really.  Mashed cannellini beans?  Salmon smothered in a lemon caper sauce?  Does it get any brighter?


Salmon in a Lemon Caper Sauce over Mashed Cannellini Beans and Broccoli Rabe
Serves 2, an Eats Well With Others Original

3/4 cup raw cannellini beans, soaked overnight
1/4 cup almond milk
5 tbsp parmesan cheese, divided

1 tbsp butter
2 (6 oz) wild salmon fillets (I like to get mine frozen from Trader Joe’s and/or Whole Foods)

1/4 cup chicken or veggie broth
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp capers
1 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 lb broccoli rabe or rapini
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put cannellini beans in a large pot.  Cover with water, filling the pot until the water is about 1 inch above the cannellini beans.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until beans are cooked through (the mushier the better!).  Drain beans and put into a large bowl.  Mash with 1/4 cup almond milk, 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, and salt and black pepper to taste.  Set aside.

2. In a pan large enough to hold both salmon fillets, spray with olive oil cooking spray and melt 1 tbsp butter over medium heat.  Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and sprinkle the tops with 1 tbsp parmesan cheese each.  Place cheese-side down in the now hot pan.  Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook until just firm to the touch in the center, about another 3 minutes.  Set aside, covering with foil to keep warm.

3. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup broth, scraping to get up any browned bits that were left behind.  Add in lemon juice and capers and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.

4. While the salmon is cooking, set up a pot of salted boiling water large enough to hold the broccoli rabe.  Once water is boiling, drop in the broccoli rabe and cook for 2-3 minutes or until wilted.  Strain.  Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet.  Add the minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Add in the broccoli rabe, a pinch of salt and the red pepper flakes, tossing to mix.

5. On each plate, put a mound of mashed cannellinis, half of the broccoli rabe, one of the salmon fillets and top it all off with the sauce.

This is my submission to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted by Cinzia of Cindystar.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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105 Responses to Salmon in a Lemon Caper Sauce over Mashed Cannellini Beans and Broccoli Rabe

  1. Corina says:

    Good luck in your exams. I’ve recently discovered lemon caper butter and I’ve completely fallen in love it with it.

  2. Nelly says:

    Oh, dear lord. That statement applies to both “you poor, poor girl, I hope he’s cute at least” and “my but that looks delicious!” Seriously, I’m a salmon fiend and this looks up to my standards 🙂 So eat up and breathe deep (just not too close to the bawls)…and let us know if you get a number out of it! 😉

  3. Simply Life says:

    You should probably bring in an extra plate for the person you’re going to be poking – maybe it would give some light at the end of the tunnel for them? 🙂

  4. Carolyn says:

    Oh dude, I don’t envy you having to perform that exam. But surely this meal will help fortify you and make you brave.
    I too envy the men being able to pee on the side of the road during races. Not fair!

  5. Maybe the guy you’ll examine will be the guy who never called you back… revenge in its essence!!! 🙂 Good luck, and salmon looks great! Sexiest brain food EVER!

  6. Ada says:

    Haha this post was great! I’m glad you don’t have to perform the exam on your classmates, that would truly be awkward. I attended this med student workshop over the summer and they had to ultrasound eachother’s groins, that was awkward enough!

    Good luck on your kidney exam!

  7. Lizzy says:

    One of my friends is a PA student at USC and she had to go through the same things a few weeks ago… definitely an interesting experience!!!

    I’m intrigued by the mashed cannelini beans.. the whole dish looks delicious!

  8. Salmon has to be lemny for me to enjoy it. I find it tones down the oiliness of this fish a bit. Looks divine!

  9. I have an aversion to capers but everything else about this dish looks perfect! Good luck with taking and giving the exams! Ah!

  10. Debbie says:

    The salmom looks delicious. And good luck with the exam!!

  11. How much does someone like that get paid? VERY nice that you aren’t doing it on each other! So who do you think finds it worse, you or the guys? I would think that guys would hate even more manhandling someone elses junk. I’m sure they’ll go out for a very man beer afterwards.

    Hope the food makes you feel better!

  12. Big Dude says:

    The dish sounds outstanding and the shots of it are excellent. I love lemon, caper sauce and will have to try the whole menu. Hope your joyous experience went well.

  13. This dish is one of those “aha” moments. Perfection on a plate Joanne.

  14. I so wish E was a fan of capers. Their briny flavor adds such wonderful depth to dishes… especially in fish.

    The mashed cannelini beans along with this is just brilliant. And broccoli rabe is one of my favorite veggies to prepare… something I grew up making with my mom.

  15. Oh ouch! My brother-in-law and nephew are both urologists. I’m guessing they had to perform a lot of these “practice” exams at one time!!

    On the less painful portion of your post, I am loving this recipe. I think I’d even like capers on a hot fudge sundae!!

    Good look on that exam!


  16. Lyndsey says:

    I don’t even know where to begin with this one! 😀 That was quite an intro! (looks like most of the guys are just skipping that) At least this dish looks awesome and I’m sure it will give you a boost! It looks oh so good and easy enough to enjoy wholeheartedly!

    Good luck!

  17. Mo Diva says:

    mouth is watering.
    That is the most succulent looking filet of salmon i have ever seen. Salmon and capers are a winning combination in my book. I am actually thinking of scrapping the white bean stew scheduled for tonight and opting for some Omega 3’s

    standardized patients get paid a lot? career change is in order.

  18. Amy says:

    Of course there are men that choose to have their testicles poked and prodded. Pain or not, any excuse to have someone play with their balls besides them…they live for that.

    Maybe that 1st date would have turned into a second, had you offered to mishandle his balls 😀

    I love cannellini beans as much as you love the chickpea. And I’m always looking for new salmon recipes…..printing.

  19. Miriam says:

    I am sorry for other people’s pain, but this post made me laugh…a lot…good luck with that!! The food looks delicious :)[email protected]Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  20. Danielle says:

    I love your posts – they always make me laugh and include a great recipe! Hosting my 2nd link party and would love for you to linkup!


  21. Dawn says:

    Wow. There are people that get paid to let students perform semi-painful procedures on them? The economy must be worse than I thought OR these people have a real interest in instructing students. Either way, good luck to you. This looks like the perfect brain food dish.

  22. What perfect timing! I just tried a fish dish with an amazing caper sauce in FL and was going to look for a recipe. This is just fantastic, Joanne!

  23. Faith says:

    Oh wow, good luck on both exams, Joanne! (And you’re right, no amount of money can compensate for what that man has to go through, lol!) The fish looks like the perfect brain fuel (delicious too — love the capers!).

  24. wow this salmon dish sounds so gourmet to me.. i love capers and would definitely love it on salmon too.. how come i haven’t tried that before.. ok one of must try joanne’s recipe! good luck on that exam.. classmate or non classmate… it would definitely be awkward but hey that’s what the schooling/training is for.. you’ll get used to it you’ll see!

  25. Pierce says:

    Well us women sure have to go through alot of “procedures”….I had to laugh at the way you described it though!!
    Salmon, as always, is a winner for my dinner plate. You are a great writer 🙂

  26. I’m sure you will have the strength to go for the exam. Good luck, Joanne! This Omega-3 dish looks great! Love your gorgeous shots!

  27. I’m shuddering just thinking of what you have to do to that poor man. Though he did sign up for it . . . honestly I’m sorrier for you than I am for him!
    Anyway, the salmon looks great, and I definitely want to try to make that cannellini bean mash. I also love the idea of Parmesan on salmon–yum.

  28. I know I will sound the most crazy girl on this earth when I say that I really dont like the taste of salmon.I find it dry and too salty at times.Maybe because I have been used to eating sweet water fishes all my life.But I love love citrus with seafood and the mild, no-fuss way in which u have attacked fish cooking.

  29. elra says:

    Joanne, this is so healthy and delicious. See that cannellini beans ? I need to eat more of this. It’s my goal, remember ? Thanks for the inspiring recipe !

  30. Swathi says:


    good luck with exams,Omega 3 in salmon will help you to pass the exams in flying colors.

  31. Mary says:

    What a lovely meal, Joanne. I adore salmon and you dish is nothing short of perfection on a plate. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  32. katerina says:

    I’ve been following you for almost a year Joanne. Your stories are always interesting, but this one is simply hilarious. I laughed the heck out of me. I totally agree with you, who on earth would want to have his testacles ‘fiddled’ (I don’t know if I am using the right word here)? But I guess if it wasn’t for these crazy people you wouldn’t know how to do it or worse yet you would do it among yourselves and that wouldn’t be funny at all. This is the most funny post I’ve read in your blog. The fish looks great, but I enjoyed the story even more.

  33. That Girl says:

    One of the hub’s best friends is a urologist. Every time we’re with him I have to fight the urge to yell out “Penis.” I can’t imagine how I’d handle your class.

  34. Victoria says:

    I’m sorry he never called. Maybe he died. Wishful thinking? Good luck with your testicle exam, I bet that will be awkward for all parties involved. We’ll go get a drink soon to help you recover from this traumatic experience…

  35. Maya says:

    Good luck with your exams! Here’s hoping the omega 3s will go straight to your head (and give you some courage)!

  36. I’m not sure why I’m just SO impressed every time i read your blog. I mean, I know you take amazing pictures AND come up with incredible recipes- but still. Every time, I’m awestruck.

    Ok, fantastic combo of flavors going on here. I love salmon! And yes, I’m sincerely glad I do not have testies… a penis, I might be a little jealous of (at times) but testies, no. 🙂 TMI? probably.

  37. Shannon says:

    Oh man.

    I want to be you right now. In the sense that I want to consume this dish. Not in the sense that you will be giving a testicular exam. GL with that.

  38. Laurie says:

    Okayyyy.. I’ll take the delicious salmon inn caper sauce but pass on the exam. Yikes.. I hope you “handle” it well!

  39. Pam says:

    Joanne, you crack me up every time and make me laugh! Your salmon sounds great and is a must try! Good luck with the poking and prodding!

  40. Oh my. I thought maybe there was a robot-human to practice on, not a real test subject. Grossssss! Good luck?

  41. Marjie says:

    I have to remember to order capers with my next food order. This looks just terrific!

  42. Salmon with a good, dark green vegetable is a favorite combination of mine, and the bean puree sounds perfect with it as does the sauce! Can this be my dinner tonight? Good luck with performing the exam!

  43. All I can manage to say about the first part is Yikes…and good luck with your exam.
    As for the dish, absolutely love everything here 🙂

  44. Shanon says:

    love this original recipe! lemon and capers and salmon BELONG together! good luck on your exams ( i am so not jealous of THAT…)

  45. Tasha says:

    Yet another post of yours that is so up my alley. It sounds absolutely wonderful, and I know all three of us in my family would devour this joyfully!

  46. You seriously crack me up! Now I know what goes on!!!

    Salmon is my favorite fish…closely followed by halibut and sea bass…LOVE beans too and the almond milk!?!? Very cool.

    It’s weird too b/c my husband just this morning asked if I’ve ever had almond milk. UM YES! Love anything almond. And I thought he knew me…gesh!

  47. Stella says:

    Oh my Gosh, Joanne, the Lord does need to give you strength. I feel for you, and I hope it goes quick and well. Yikes! Either way, your salmon looks so rustic and delicious. I would love it for my dinner tonight…

  48. Julie says:

    i was just reading deej this recipe and she goes “gahhhh send it to me.”

    god bless your soul. god speed.

  49. Megan says:

    Oh wow. Good luck tomorrow. That does not sound fun for you or the patient.

    The salmon does look tasty…

  50. Kim says:

    Oh dear. This testicle exam does not sound pleasant …for anyone. I guess it’s all part of the process though. Does it make you feel better than so many people have done it before you? Just think, in a few years, you probably won’t even think twice about such things. Stay positive on the kidney exam. 1/3rd may fail, but more than half pass and I bet you are one of them! Show them how you roll, Joanne!

    Love this original recipe with the caper sauce and mashed beans. Your salmon is looking mighty buttery and delicious and you know how I feel about beans (of any variety).

    Good Luck!

  51. Kim says:

    Whoops! I meant to say “does it make you feel better that so many people have done it before you.”

  52. janet says:

    I have spent too much time away from salmon and this reminds me how much I love it. Must make it soon. 🙂

    I always wondered about the standardized patients for the GU exams, to be honest. Egad!

  53. Julie says:

    Oh my I don’t envy you having to do this exam. Hopefully the salmon gave you strength!!
    It looks delicious.

  54. MM says:

    The juxtaposition of this unpleasant exam and the serene shots of the salmon dish is awesome. Loved this!

  55. Reeni says:

    I’m cowering under my covers! You brave, brave girl! I have only the utmost respect for you – you may not have testicles but you have balls! I’d be eating lots of this delicious salmon and praying in between! Love the smashed beans. Hope all went well!

  56. teresa says:

    bah! good luck tomorrow! i forget about those fun parts of being a doctor.

    this look incredible, i’m crazy about salmon, this would get gobbled up fast!

  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

  58. Mo 'Betta says:

    ummm, the getting-paid-to-get-prodded-while-giving-instructions is new to me. That’s weird, yet intriguing. What happened to practicing on the unsuspecting pts?! Have fun 😛

  59. This post made me laugh out loud. The way you interspersed your cooking photos with the discussion about your upcoming ‘event’ was hilarious. And the photos are gorgeous as always. I’m always looking for uses for capers. I love them and don’t use them enough. This is a great looking dish. I’ve clipped the recipe and added it to my queue!

  60. Pam says:

    Who would want to do that for a job – ouch!?! Good luck on the examination tomorrow.

    Mmmm. This meal looks healthy, filling, and so flavorful! I love every single ingredient. Nicely done.

  61. Kristen says:

    The post was so enthralling that I missed most of the pictures and had to go back. However reading the comments has been just as funny. I love how so many comment on the exam and then without missing a beat tell you, practically in the same sentence how great capers are. There is humor there! Good luck. With all of it.

  62. theUngourmet says:

    Oh my word! I had no idea! Here I was all set to work my way up to medical school. Well, forget that, sister! No pinky of mine is goin’ up there!

    Your salmon rocks! I just love capers!

  63. lovely meal for fish lovers…GOOD LUCK !

  64. OohLookBel says:

    By the time I read this, you’ve probably already done your exam – and passed with flying colours! How could you not, with such delicious omega-3-rich brain food on your plate?

  65. Indie.Tea says:

    I took an anatomy class in high school, and the boys couldn’t watch the cats – which we were dissecting – being castrated either.
    But good luck to you!
    And the dish looks great.

  66. Pam says:

    Only you can combine an absolutely gorgeous meal with a discussion of manly parts!

  67. good luck with your exams doll 🙂

    this looks deeeeelicious 🙂

    xo Alison

  68. Barbara says:

    Excuse me, but who in the world would offer themselves for practice? Ye Gods.

    Hate to go right from this visual to your recipe…but I will gather myself together and make a foodie comment.
    I have all the ingredients, love the idea of mashing the beans and this will be on my table tonight!

  69. All the best with your exams! That poor guy…but I guess he is doing everyone a service. If no one offers themselves to be “examined”, med students will not get the practice they need.

    Now, this dish sounds wonderful. The capers will definitely contrast well with the fish and beans.

  70. Ben says:

    LOL, I couldn’t stop laughing throughout the whole post. Really getting paid for med students to mishandle your testicles? I can’t even imagine! Great recipe. I love the first picture 🙂

  71. What a powerhouse nutritious meal! Looks wonderful.
    Really, they get paid? Where can I sign my man up to have his testes mishandled for big bucks? ?

  72. OMG , this is horrid , and if im dng nothing to help u , i cant :-)))))))))))))))))
    Gosh , i wanna run away , even this salmon wont help 🙂
    But by now the ordeal {if any more} is over i guess!!

    Ur recipes are going from fantastic to super fantastic and can see ur sure living upto ur new year resolutions!

  73. Such a terrific, balanced meal! The lemon caper sauce sounds lovely over salmon and i love the idea of mashed cannellini beans!

  74. Oh, I could almost feel the pain while I read this post (and I also don’t have testicles)! Ouch! I wish you all the good luck you can have in your exams.

    Great recipe, I’m a salmon lover!

    Camila F.

  75. wgfoodie says:

    Lovely recipe! Salmon and capers are one of my favorite combos!

  76. Love love love capers with salmon! Gorgeous dish!

  77. Sana says:

    I may or may not have cringed reading your post but your beautiful food and pics made up for it!

  78. Cara says:

    Good luck, my friend. You are a much stronger woman than me!

    I love seeing an original dish – and no big surprise it reminds me of something I’d make. Especially love the mashed beans… I have something coming up that I think you’re gonna like too 🙂

  79. Shannon says:

    ha. that would be awkward (classmates). hope it went well! this certainly should’ve fueled you well for it 🙂

  80. tigerfish says:

    I get my wild salmon fillets from Whole Foods too! May the wild force be with you! ;p

  81. Beth says:

    Reading your posts makes me glad I never went into medical school. What a great rendition of your classmates’ reactions! Hope the test went well.

  82. Shari says:

    I really enjoyed this post. I’m so thankful that I stumbled across this blog after reading the Mission: Food blog (which I came across on Foodbuzz). I look forward to reading and enjoying more of your posts throughout 2011.

    I hope to hear more about your similarities to Carrie Bradshaw, from a fellow shoe lover who is very Samantha Jones – but is beginning to see a lot of Charlotte within herself (odd, I know).

    Shari from

  83. Maria says:

    I hope everything went well! As well as an experience like that can go anyway 😉

    On the bright side, the salmon does look phenomenal and it’s got everything I adore, from capers to broccoli rabe.

  84. Claudia says:

    Consider those volunteers may be into SM? Then they enjoy themselves plus get paid.

    At least you always have something nice to eat when you get home from excruciating experiences. I like the sound of the mashed beans rather than potatoes for a change.

  85. Ouchhhh!!! Pinky please 🙂 ouch ouch ouch!
    Lemon and capers = I love!

  86. Johanna GGG says:

    I don’t know if it would be worse to be the trainee or the specimen but I hope they are well paid – good luck with your exams

  87. aipi says:

    The dish looks right out of the cover page of a fancy cookbook, very nicely done!

    US Masala

  88. Claire says:

    Ugh! We did not have standardized patients for GU exams…for any exams really. Just think about the WOMAN who allows herself to have multiple exams a day with a speculum by someone who has no CLUE what they are doing. UGH!!! Hope it goes well. I, in fact, really enjoyed renal pathology…of course, the pathology course was taught by the guy who wrote the book with Dr. Guyton! That could have helped!

    I love salmon…in fact, I need to get some soon.

  89. Hope your exams are going well! Lots of luck to you. BTW, the salmon looks great!

  90. Marisa says:

    Testicle handling? Oh my. I don’t know how you do it, but I’m sure you did just fine yesterday. 🙂

    As for the salmon – you must know my predeliction for salty-sour things, hence the caper berry usage.

  91. gorgeous receipe as almways and good luck with the exam!!
    bises from France

  92. Boy, that exam sounds totally scary… best of luck, I am sure the omega 3 of this delicious salmon will work wonders!!
    Love the idea of mashed cannellini beans!

  93. girlichef says:

    Hmmm. I don’t know. Handling food…handling testicles…how different can it actually be? HA! Kidding. Much. Unless you’re planning on cooking testicles, then…same. Anyway. I’m babbling. This is a scrumptious original dish. It makes me feel healthy just looking at it 🙂

  94. I am still killing myself laughing… and why are you scheduled to take so long for this exam? Sounds too long for a pinky or two, to me. The meal looks great though. I hope you washed your hands.
    (I cannot believe I said that)

  95. Karen says:

    From 6:15 to 9:30? That’s one long exam! LOL Funny post and I adore salmon and capers. This looks like a really perfect meal.

  96. Oh, dear! I hope that exam went well. I don’t know what else to say, other than I love salmon!

  97. Chris says:

    My penis hurts now. And keep your ****ing pinky away from it. 😉

    I am going on a caper binge next week. Had a lovely picatta at my favorite restaurant on Friday and it reinvigorated my craving for that briny lil’ bastard. So salmon will be in order, I’m sure.

  98. Oh Ouch–paid well or not you have to wonder… 😉

    This looks delicious–you of course had me at lemon-caper!

  99. Cindystar says:

    well, I really don’t envy you for that exam, Joanne, though I shouldn’t have any problems as I constantly live with 6 boys and a husband!
    anyway, finger crossed for you!!!
    thanks for this lovely salmon, we love it and I have homemade salted capers from Sicily which could fit perfectly!

  100. kickpleat says:

    This is exactly what I want to eat right this very minute. Yum!

  101. The mashed beans are a great idea for a side. It’s like roasted cauliflower–a perfect potato substitute. We can all count on you to come up with things like this.

  102. I love how you used almond milk. I recently just discovered coconut milk beverage, it’s like almost milk but with an even nuttier flavor. I think I want to try it with the frozen salmon I have. Thanks for inspiring me.

  103. Deborah says:

    There are some things that you couldn’t pay me enough to do. Not that I could be a paid volunteer, because, well – I’m a girl. 🙂 But this recipe looks so good – and I just happen to have some salmon in the freezer!

  104. Anonymous says:

    O.K. I think I know what you’re getting at, Lemon Caper Sauce ( love that combination,) with testicles. I’m not sure about the presentation – hope some others can help with that, perhaps some lavender or parsley. vp2

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