Also titled: what to cook when you can’t sleep at night because you’re stressed about the characters in the book you’re reading, and they’re living in France, so.
To Provence we go!!
By way of this easy salmon dinner. It’s the next best thing to air travel, really.
The book I’m reading is called The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. It’s about Nazi occupation of France during World War II and follows two sisters as they try to survive in the changing world. Honestly it’s not even that I’m staying up to read it. The chapters are so intense and stressful that I can’t actually read too much at a time, but I just stay up worrying about what’s going to happen.
It’s not healthy. But also – SUCH A GOOD READ.
In the story, they barely have any food to eat other than what they can grow in their garden, so it’s a bit ironic that I’ve paired it with this rich and bountiful salmon dish.
But c’est la vie!
This is a one-pan meal comprised of roasted salmon served on a mess of caramelized bell peppers, onions, capers, fresh herbs, and a generous olive oil pour. It is full of fresh flavor and is exactly the kind of simple but delicious meal you envision when you think of French countryside cooking. The ingredient list is (relatively, for me) short but the flavors are full and plentiful. It can easily come together on a weeknight, but also has a bit of a fancy food feel so would completely work for a celebration dinner.
- ½ cup olive oil, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, halved, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, halved, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
- 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
- ½ jalapeno, seeded and diced
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp drained capers
- ½ tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 4 (6-8 oz) salmon fillets
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- fresh basil, to garnish
- Heat oven to 350F.
- Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the bell peppers, onions, jalapeno, and thyme to the pan. Saute until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Decrease the heat to medium and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until caramelized. Stir in the capers, salt, and black pepper.
- Season the fish with salt and black pepper. Push the vegetables to the edges of the skillet, leaving a well in the center. Place the fish in the center of the skillet and scoop the vegetables on top of it. Drizzle with the wine and remaining olive oil.
- Place the skillet in the oven and cook until the fish is just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve warm, garnished with fresh basil.