Salmon in cream sauce

Salmon in cream sauce.

I made this, in part, because I had a bell pepper and an entire bag of spinach that was about to go bad. I dumped my entire — otherwise untouched — bag of spinach into the sauce. That was a lot of spinach. Too much spinach, actually. I ended up with salmon in cream sauce with a side of creamed spinach. It wasn’t bad at all, but still — half a bag is all you need.

Though this started as an attempt to use up some vegetables I bought and failed to use in a timely manner, it was good enough to become something of a staple.

It’s definitely one of the better recipes I’ve stumbled upon in my efforts to avoid wasting food.

Salmon in cream sauce

1 raw, red, yellow or orange bell pepper, cut in half with seeds and membranes removed

Cooking oil spray

1 lb raw, skin-on salmon filets

1/2 tsp. salt or to taste

1/2 tsp. pepper or to taste

1 tbsp. canola, olive or other neutral-flavored cooking oil

1 tbsp. butter

1 heaping tbs. minced garlic

Half a bag of fresh spinach (about 5 ounces)

1/2 cup cream

1/4 — 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

1/8 cup dried parsley

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Prepare a small baking dish with cooking oil spray. Cut and seed raw bell pepper and place in prepared baking dish.

Roast bell pepper for about 15-20 minutes in 450 degree oven. Allow roasted bell pepper to cool and then dice and set aside.

Sprinkle the pink side of the salmon with salt and pepper. Set aside and heat cooking oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Once oil is hot, add salmon to the skillet skin-side down. Cook to desired degree of doneness — about 5 minutes on each side, flipping once. Remove salmon from pan and set aside. Add butter and garlic and cook for about one minute or until garlic is fragrant. Add diced roasted bell pepper and cook for one or two minutes more. Add fresh spinach. When spinach has reduced in size, lower the heat and add heavy cream, freshly-grated parmesan, red pepper (if using) and dried parsley.

Slowly bring sauce to a simmer.

Put salmon back in the pan and spoon sauce over it before serving.

LYDIA KAUTZ is the Managing Editor of the Junction City Union.

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