When I first made this recipe, I immediately tucked it away in my impressive dinner file. For starters, I am a huge salmon fan. I love it for its taste, because it’s versatile, and it’s considered a healthy fat. And this recipe looked so good and so pretty.
At first I almost passed the recipe up because of the low, 250-degrees, baking temperature. So many people grapple with cooking temperatures and times, and this seemed like a red-flag.
Really, I thought it was a mistake at first, and I was ready to get on the phone to the folks at Bon Appetit magazine to find out. But I did some research and found when you cook salmon at a high temperature the protein seizes and tightens. At low temperatures it cooks the fish gently. (Not that cooking at a high temperature is all that bad, I broil salmon often.)
The low and slow baking of the salmon turns out moist and tender. It’s not dry at all. Typically, salmon, depending on the thickness cooks quickly, like 8-10 minutes under the broiler or on the grill. This recipe takes about 30 minutes in the oven. It’s enough time to cook the salmon through, but not overcook it.
Another bonus to this recipe is it’s to serve in just under an hour. And so if you’re the type that can multi-task a little in the kitchen and mingle with guests, this is the recipe for you.
The ingredients come together nicely in this dish. There’s a layer of a chickpea mixture that’s seasoned with cumin. Another layer is sauteed mustard greens with hints of garlic. The mustard greens tend to have a bitterness to them, but they are balanced with some honey. In the end everything comes together nicely. Don’t like the bitter greens? Swap out some Swiss chard or even kale.
Finally, it’s also about the capers. I love capers. In this recipe the capers are fried. Yes, fried. In the skillet they sizzle and pop and bring on another deep flavor. They complement the salmon well. There’s hardly any salt in this recipe so the small amount of salt these add won’t make a difference.