I’m turning over a new leaf. That’s right. After living the past few years as a person that pooh-poohed the gym and “organized exercise” (as I liked to call it), citing my multi-block walks each day and my inability to sit still as “exercise enough,” I can now count myself among the thousands of people who wear mesh shorts and actually have a use for cross-trainers.
It all started when my friend mentioned a little program called Couch to 5K. I had always hated running and secretly believed that runners had sold their souls to the devil (or Nike). But I was intrigued by the alternating walk/run intervals that the program is based on, and after reading testimonial after testimonial singing the program’s praises, I decided to give it a go. Correction. Nate and I decided to give it a go. And, believe it or not, we are loving it. We feel healthy and spry, and like we belong to some secret running club. We’ve invented a handshake, to make it that much more official.
What does this have to do with food? Not a whole heck of a lot, actually. I’ve always prescribed to the belief that you should eat anything you want in moderation, and that philosophy will continue to carry through to this blog. But it certainly isn’t a bad idea to make delicious, healthy dinners. So, when I saw this recipe for Salmon and Zucchini with Shallot Vinaigrette in August’s Real Simple magazine, I knew I had to give it a try, since salmon rocks and (when not covered in cream) is a really great health food.
What makes this dish extra awesome is that it takes 20 minutes to make from start to finish. That’s less than one episode of The Office and about as long as two Ricky Gervais podcasts. The steps are straight forward and you need minimal cooking skills. Better yet, the finished product is light and flavorful, slightly acidic (from the vinegar) and a little sweet (the sautéed zucchini), and perfect on any given summer evening.
Salmon and Zucchini with Shallot Vinaigrette
From Real Simple magazine, August 2010
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 and 1/4 lbs skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
1 and 1/2 lbs medium zucchini (about 3 medium), cut into this sticks
In a small bowl, combine the shallot, vinegar, dill, 2 tablespoons of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.
Heat 1 teaspoon of the remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Season the salmon with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve with the salmon and the vinaigrette.