Sheet Pan Salmon

I've been overwhelmed lately as I've tried to absorb the general craziness of our current political moment, figure out what the next steps are for my career, get ready to reapply to graduate school, and plan a wedding. If you're a long-time reader of this blog, you know that I'm highly risk averse, which dovetails nicely with my anxiety around uncertainty, but is constantly at odds with my ambition and chronic boredom. As some form of reprieve from my hectic internal state but stagnant professional life, I've returned to cooking, as I am wont to do in times of intellectual upheaval.

Today I poached some quince, which I have never seen before let alone cooked, and they turned out nicely. I think I'll have them over yogurt at breakfast tomorrow. I also made these seedy oat crackers, a batch of pistachio-almond granola, and this super delicious stuffed spaghetti squash with chickpeas and arugula-tahini sauce (I spiced up the chickpeas with my usual blend of smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper, and swapped tahini for the cashew milk as she suggests). I'll have to make it again soon to take pictures. A couple weeks back, I made this sheet pan salmon from Tasting Table, and it was so yummy and very easy. I tweaked the order of events and cooking time slightly, since I found that the snow peas got kind of sad and overcooked when they were added at the beginning according to the original recipe. I like my vegetables closer to the raw end of the spectrum, so adding them near the end of the salmon's cooking time did the trick for me. Even if you're not in to salmon, the sauce from this recipe is worth making and using with other proteins, as a dipping sauce for summer rolls, and the like.

Sheet Pan Salmon with Shiitake Mushrooms, Bok Choy, and Snow Peas
Adapted from Tasting Table 

For the sauce:
1/4 c honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon gochugaru
3 garlic cloves

For the salmon and veggies:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
2 c snow peas
2 c shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 head bok choy, cut into 2-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 pounds plank salmon, skin on
Chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Combine the honey, soy, sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. Use a microplane to grate the ginger and garlic cloves, or mince finely if you don't have a fine grater like a microplane. Add in the sesame seeds and chilies, then set aside.

Cover a sheet pan with tin foil. Place the salmon in the center of the pan, then season with salt and pepper. Cover the salmon with 2/3 of the sauce. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 15 minutes.

Toss the vegetables with oil, salt, pepper, and remaining sauce. After the salmon has cooked for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and arrange the vegetables around the outside. Put the pan back in the oven for another 5-15 minutes until the salmon and vegetables are cooked to your liking.

Serve with chopped cilantro, limes, and cooked basmati rice. Enjoy!

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