I originally wrote this post almost two weeks ago, but thanks to an internet glitch it never got posted. But it is so amazingly fast and delicious. It’s so good, they should put it on New Scandinavian Cooking (only nerds as big as me will know this show). This is dedicated to all the other hearty people of Scandinavian descent who will find, if they don’t already know, that lingonberries are in their blood.
I had an exhausting weekend. I went for a long weekend girls trip with my sister and mom to Santa Fe. We had a really great time. But then on our way back my sister’s car died in the middle of nowhere New Mexico. And I mean no where. It was Sunday, so there weren’t any auto repair shops open. So we had to have the car towed to Raton and get it fixed this morning. We got home around 3:30, and then I had a bunch of work to do. So I was not up to making anything fancy. I looked in the freezer and saw that I had some frozen salmon fillets, so I thawed them. I also wanted something healthy, because I put on a few pounds from delicious mexican food.
A few of you (those of you not of Swedish descent) may not have ever heard of lingonberries before. My grandparents always had lingonberry preserves to go on toast when I was a kid. I loved them, but could never find them in Texas (we don’t have a large Scandinavian population in West Texas). Then, after I moved to Denver I found that our local butcher sells it, and I was very happy. And I just learned that you can buy it in bucketfulls from Ikea. So if you have one near you, go for it. It’s delicious! It’s slightly tart but still sweet and has a nice texture.
Lingonberries are also called cowberries, apparently. They grow on evergreen bushes in inland Sweden and Norway, but also in arctic regions across the globe, including North America. These berries aren’t cultivated, but are extensively collected. They are sour fresh, but with a little sugar they make excellent preserves, full of vitamin C in an area where that vitamin is hard to find.
You don’t have to use lingonberries, you can use raspberry or any other red berry preserves, it is still delicious.
Herb Salmon on Pasta with Spring Vegetables and Lingonberries
- Salmon filets, as many as you need. (I just realized this would also be good with sausage).
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp thyme
- Olive oil (I used hot pepper olive oil that I made)
- Salt and pepper
- Lemon or lime juice
- Pasta of your choice (I used fettuccine)
- Green leafies of your choice (I used spinach, you can also use chard or kale)
- Olive oil and butter
- Veggies of your choice (I used frozen green beans, I would have loved asparagus and broccoli)
- 1 tsp of lemon or lime juice
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp rosemary olive oil (or chopped rosemary with equivalent plain olive oil, directions follow on how to make it and the hot pepper oil. I bought gourmet rosemary olive oil in Santa Fe, you can probably get some from your gourmet shop.)
- 4-5 Tbsp lingonberry preserves (you can also use any other red berry preserves of your choice. Raspberry would have been excellent too. Raspberry Enlightment from Penzeys would be wonderful.)
- 1-2 tsp lemon or lime juice
- Salt and Pepper
- 2-3 tsp rice wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
- Preheat your oven to 425 (or you can do the salmon on the grill in aluminum packets). Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta.
- Put the salmon on aluminum foil. Mix together the basil, oregano, and thyme. Sprinkle the herbs on the salmon. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with hot pepper oil (or plain, see below on how to make seasoned olive oil). Wrap the aluminum into a packet. Put it into the oven for about 10 min.
- Toss the pasta in the water to cook.
- Steam your veggies of choice. Make sure you cut them into bite size pieces.
- Do this just before the salmon and pasta are done. In a saute pan, put in about 1 Tbsp each olive oil and butter. When heated, cook the dark green leafies. Make sure that you put it in a large hand full at a time and don’t over cook it. It should still be green (a dark green), not black. It only takes a few minutes.
- Drain the pasta, put it into a large bowl. Toss in the veggies and leafies. Then put in the rosemary oil, rice wine vinegar, some more salt and pepper (just a little), lemon juice, berry preserves, and garlic.
- Put pasta on plates and top with salmon, enjoy!
How to make seasoned olive oil
Put a few cups of olive oil in a small pot. Put in whatever seasonings you want. For the hot pepper, I used 3 cloves garlic, and probably 1 Tbsp or so hot pepper flakes (like what you put on pizza.) You can also use just garlic, or sprigs of rosemary, or any other herb you want. Simmer on the stove for 5-10 minutes. Put cheesecloth over the jar that you are going to store it in (an old jam jar works well). Pour in the oil and strain out the stuff. Enjoy!