Maple Teriyaki Salmon & Homemade Rice Pilaf Primavera

One of the best parts of living in Maine is the ready availability of fresh seafood. In addition to having particular health benefits, seafood can also be a very important part of keeping your menu interesting.

Salmon, in particular, can be prepared in a number of unique and delicious ways. I wanted to find a way to incorporate Maine maple syrup into a tasty salmon glaze, and I found that ginger, soy and garlic lend themselves easily to a delicious teriyaki glaze. It pairs perfectly with a bright, colorful spring pilaf primavera for a light dinner you can feel good about serving and eating.

Most people who dislike salmon cite the same reason: it tastes "too fishy." That's a valid concern, but what most people don't realize is that it actually makes it a perfect foil for assertive flavors like garlic and ginger. I also prepare it frequently with mustard and dill, for the same reason. It's important to select a cut of salmon that is thick, so that it doesn't dry out too quickly in the oven; I prefer a filet further from the tail. Remember that fresh salmon will smell like the sea—if your salmon smells fishy when you remove it from your refrigerator to prepare it, it has gone bad.


Maple Teriyaki Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb salmon fillet, portioned
  • ¼ cup Maine maple syrup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Directions:

  1. In a glass measuring cup, combine maple, soy, garlic and ginger.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Place salmon skin down in a foil-lined baking dish and brush with maple soy mixture.
  4. Place baking dish in oven and bake 15 minutes. The interior of the fish should read 145°F.

Rice Pilaf Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • ¼ cup orzo
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • pinch of saffron
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. In a saute pan with a lid, heat oil and butter on medium. Add onions and begin to soften.
  2. Dissolve the saffron in the chicken broth and set aside.
  3. When the onions are translucent, add the orzo and rice to the saute pan, stirring constantly, until they begin to smell nutty and toasted.
  4. Add the saffron broth to the pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  5. Stir in the peas and carrots and cover, about 3-5 minutes longer, until they are heated through and the rice has absorbed all the broth.