What do you eat for lunch? People always talk about how important it is to have a good breakfast, but it’s also really important to have a good lunch — one that is filling, satisfying and healthy.
For me, lunch is sometimes a sandwich or pasta, but more often it’s a salad. Salads served topped with warm proteins, like this salmon, are comforting, waist-friendly and can be really easy to make. Seriously. I mean it.
This particular roasted salmon is so ridiculously easy that I almost feel bad calling it a recipe. You basically toss salmon in a pan, drizzle just a bit of olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper and lay some thyme across the top. Toss it in the oven and 20 minutes or so later, you are ready to sit down and eat a healthy lunch. Easy peasy.
But I am sharing it because some people don’t realize just how easy and simple it can be to cook fish — or how unscary it is. (Yes, I really did just make up that word. Shh!)
I used to be scared to cook salmon. I also used to be scared to feed it to my two-year-old daughter. Earlier this week, while I was writing about salmon for my Tablespoon column, I reminisced about a year ago when I was so freaked out to give Paige fish that I couldn’t bring myself to do it. She was just over a year old, and it was time to try. But the threat of fish allergies (the ones I read about in some parenting magazine) had me downright terrified. It’s funny how in this information age, too much information can make us question our instincts.
I turned to mom friends and asked advice. I read more about it. Then I finally bit the bullet and just made fish. She loved it. No more fear necessary.
These days, we typically have fish about twice a week. Since Shawn isn’t a fan, we either have it when he’s working late (henceforth known as “fish night” in our house) or for lunch. It used to horrify my mother that I actually cook at lunchtime, but that’s one of the perks of being a work-at-home freelance writer. And really, why shouldn’t you cook when you have a chance?
Frankly though, when the fabulous lunch is as easy as this one, it needs no justifying.
So, spill! What’s your favorite lunch? Do you ever cook at lunchtime?
- 8 cups torn and rinsed lettuce, Boston is my fav
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
- 4 oz crumbled goat cheese or feta, divided
- 1 lb salmon fillets, roughly 4-4oz pieces
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- sea salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an oven-safe pan with cooking oil.
- Divide the lettuce between four plates or bowls. Top each one with 1/4 of the carrot shreds and 1 oz of crumbled goat cheese or feta .
- Meanwhile, rinse the salmon in cool water and pat dry. Place, skin side down, into the prepared pan. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay a sprig of thyme over each piece.
- Bake the salmon for 15-20 minutes, until it flakes easily with a fork.
- Top each salad with a salmon fillet. Drizzle with vinaigrette.
- Serve warm.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.