This may sound like a dish based around the salmon but, it is in fact, a dish showcasing the tender spring Sprouting Broccoli. The fatty salmon, roasted in a miso marinade, is the perfect foil for the mild bitterness and complexity that develops from charring broccoli in a hot cast iron pan. Honestly, it’s the best way to cook broccoli. Stop steaming broccoli or blanching in big pots of water. Seriously, if you don’t own an 8” cast iron pan, put down this recipe and immediately go buy one. It will unequivocally make your food taste better. Plus, they look great hanging on your kitchen wall. Guaranteed kitchen cred.
Anyways, this is an uncomplicated and versatile recipe. Bake the salmon. Boil the spelt. Char the broccoli. Make a tasty miso dressing. Super easy.
2 each Salmon filets, skin and pinbones removed
1 tablespoon (T) Ginger, grated
2 T White miso
1 T Honey
2 T Soy
2 T Apple Cider Vinegar (or other light acidity vinegar)
3 T Canola oil
2 cups Sprouting Broccoli
2-3 each Spring onions
1 T Green garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon (t) Hot pepper, dried
1 cup Whole Spelt Berries (or another type of farro)
- Make your marinade. Combine grated ginger, miso, honey, soy, vinegar and 2 T of the oil in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Remove ½ of the marinade and save for dressing the broccoli and spelt.
- Marinate salmon. Add your clean filets of salmon to ½ the marinade. Flip to cover. Leave to marinate overnight or at least 1 hour before baking.
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Place 8” cast iron in oven to preheat.
- Cook your spelt like you would pasta…..bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add your spelt, turn down the heat just a bit, and boil until spelt is cooked to your desired doneness. This should take between 30 and 40 minutes. Drain spelt and keep warm.
- Place salmon and marinade in a baking dish like a glass Pyrex and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully baste with the marinade. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven.
- While the salmon is baking and the spelt is boiling, cook your broccoli!
- Remove cast iron from the oven and place on a med high heat. Add the remaining 1T of oil to the pan and carefully add your broccoli. Toss and then spread into an even layer. Do not disturb the broccoli. Reset all urges to shake the pan. You want the broccoli to char and get blackened little bits. After about 5 minutes, reduce the heat to medium. Add you sliced garlic and chili pepper. Season with a couple pinches of salt. At this point, stir your veggies until evenly cooked and tender.
- Dump your perfectly charred broccoli into a bowl with your spelt. Add the sliced spring onions and a couple big glugs of the miso marinade. Toss, taste and you’re ready to eat.
Michael Joyce is a chef in the Lehigh Valley and and local food advocate. Spending his career in kitchens devoted to seasonality and sustainability such as Blue Hill, Barbuzzo, and is currently at Bolete Restaurant. He believes that cooking through the seasons and as close to the source as possible, is not only satisfying and inspiring, but critical to the health of our local communities.