I'm not a huge fan of the typical Irish-American dish served around St. Patrick's Day, Corned Beef and Cabbage. I mean, it can be good for sure, but doesn't a lovely piece of salmon with some sweet, smoky cabbage and buttery mashed potatoes sound better?
For the past few years this is the dish I've made to celebrate St. Paddy's Day, and it definitely has a following around my household! It has many elements of a traditional Irish meal with a little twist here and there. Of course, you don't need to limit it to this time of year - it's satisfying and delicious any time you like!
I definitely recommend using Savoy cabbage for this recipe. You can distinguish it from other cabbage by it's crinkly little leaves. It's milder than your average cabbage, slightly sweet and very tender. If you don't think you like cabbage, give this a whirl - I think it might just convert you! However, if you can't find Savoy for some reason, you can substitute a regular green cabbage, I would just use slightly less than the whole head.
Roasted Salmon with Cabbage & Bacon
6 slices good quality smoked bacon, cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 head Savoy cabbage, core removed and leaves cut into ~2 inch squares
1 to 1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp chopped fresh dill, divided
1 1/2 lbs wild salmon filet, skin removed
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
4 tsp butter
4 lemon wedges
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 300F. In a medium pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat is rendered out, but before it becomes crispy. There should be about 4 tablespoons of fat - if there's more, discard the excess, and if there is too little, add some extra virgin olive oil.
2. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and 1 cup water, stir, and let simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is very tender and the water evaporates, about 15 minutes. (If the water evaporates before the cabbage is tender, add more water.)
3. While the cabbage is cooking, place your salmon filet onto a nonstick sheet pan or line it with parchment paper or nonstick foil. Drizzle the olive oil over the filet. Season well with salt, pepper, and 1 tsp of dill. Scatter pieces of butter over the filet. Cook at 300F for 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Keep an eye on it so you don't overcook it!
4. When the cabbage is done, season to taste with salt, pepper and the other tsp of dill. Cover and keep warm until your salmon is cooked.
5. Divide the cabbage among 4 plates. Cut the salmon into 4 pieces and place each piece on top of the cabbage and squeeze a little lemon over the salmon. Serve with some Champ and enjoy an Irish feast!