My favorite recipes tend to be those that tow the line between healthy and indulgent. Too healthy, I get bored; only indulgent, I feel gross. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, but I do appreciate a nice balancing act.
This meal is a great example: simply roasted salmon atop a bed of sauteed kale with lemon feels healthy and fresh, but lurking beneath the kale is a puddle of creamy, cheesy, luxurious mashed white beans. It’s perfect for late winter: I always start to feel a bit comfort-fooded out this time of year, but I’m still craving more substantial, warming meals.
Salmon with Cheesy Mashed White Beans & Kale
Adapted from Serious Eats
2 medium or 1 large salmon filet (you should be shooting for between 1 and 2 lbs)
1/2 tbsp honey
2 15-oz cans navy beans, drained & rinsed
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup water
3 oz sharp white cheddar, grated (the better the cheddar, the better this will taste!)
2 oz grated Parmesan
Salt & pepper
3 cups kale, washed and shredded
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Pre-heat oven to 400F. Pat salmon dry and place on parchment-lined baking sheet; season with salt & pepper and drizzle with olive oil and honey. Roast until opaque and flaky (this should take around 8-10 minutes, depending on size and thickness of salmon fillets). Remove from oven and set aside in a warm place.
While the salmon roasts, start white beans: heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium sauce pan until hot, then add garlic and saute for about 1 minute. Add beans, cream, and water; bring to a simmer. Once simmering, mash beans lightly with a potato masher (consistency should be on the thin side – I left mine pretty chunky, but mash to your desired smoothness). Add cheddar and Parmesan; season with salt & pepper to taste. Keep warm.
In a medium skillet, heat another drizzle of olive oil over med-high heat. Add kale and season with salt & pepper; saute until kale is wilted and starting to crisp. Remove from heat; add lemon juice.
Compose your dishes: divide beans between 4 plates (you may have extra). Top beans with kale. Divide salmon into 4 portions (remove from skin if your fillets were skin-on) and place on top of kale. Serve immediately.