Photo by Quentin Bacon, food styling by Suzanne Lenzer, and prop styling by Maeve Sheridan
I hate to play favorites with my recipes because each one genuinely comes from my heart, but I have a special soft spot for this dish. It is a one skillet meal that is both light and filling, with fresh chunks of salmon, spinach, and tomatoes, all cooked along with the orzo they are nestled in. It’s lemony and herbaceous and made dreamy topped with a salty sprinkle of feta that melts in the oven. I know that, like I did, once you try it you will put it into regular rotation.
Herbed Salmon and Orzo Casserole with Feta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1 ½ cup whole grain orzo pasta
2 cups fish broth or water
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups, lightly packed, chopped fresh spinach leaves
¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds skinless salmon fillet, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Heat the oil in a large deep oven-proof skillet over a medium heat, add the scallions and cook until they are softened, 2 minutes. Add the orzo and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add the broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the orzo until it is about half-way cooked, 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, spinach, parsley, dill, lemon juice, salt and pepper and cook until the spinach is wilted, 1-2 minutes. Gently stir in the fish, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the fish is cooked on the outside but still a bit translucent inside, 4-5 minutes. To refrigerate or freeze, let the mixture cool for 30 minutes at room temperature at this stage.
To serve now, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Sprinkle the feta over the top of the skillet then place in the oven until the feta is lightly browned and melted, 8-10 minutes.
Makes 6 servings
Serving size: about 1 ½ cups
Per serving: Calories 460; Total Fat 17g (Mono Fat 7.1g, Poly Fat 3.4g, Sat Fat 6.1g); Protein 40g; Carb 30g; Fiber 4g; Cholesterol 95mg; Sodium 550mg
Excellent Source of: Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Protein, Riboflavin, Selenium, Thiamin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin K
Good Source of: Chloride, Copper, Fiber, Folate, Iron, Zinc