When I cook I love to create colour, texture and flavours o with this next dish I am using all 3 combined with the crunchy topping on the salmon, the sweetness of the baked butternut squash pasta , and the vibrant colours which come together when the dish is served. I used to love pasta as child. Until I realised it wasn’t good for me and then I moved to the wheat-free versions.The only wheat-free one I find closer to the real thing is spelt pasta. Then I discovered the spiralizer and I haven’t looked back since. I’m guessing a lot of you haven’t even heard of the spiralizer but I’m here to change all that…. I LOVE MY SPIRALIZER!!! It has changed how we eat vegetables in our household as it adds variety and even flavour. It adds a sweetness to the vegetables as when they are baked they are roasted and the sweet aromas are intensified. Let me explain… it is a simple piece of equipment with no power leads as it is manually operated. It comes with 3 blades – 1 flat blade and 2 for different sizes of “pasta”. You peel your vegetable and attach it to a round blade and to the handle and just turn. What I love about it is takes out the hard middle part of the vegetable including seeds from certain vegetables. Mine is made by Lurch and is available on amazon.co.uk and is great value!!! It can be used for vegetable pasta, salads, homemade vegetable chips or a simple garnish. And this is what it looks like…….Click here to go straight to the recipe.
You can spiralise almost any vegetable…. my favourites for cooking are butternut squash, courgette and carrot and my favourites for salads are beetroot and cucumber. Yum!
I have been cooking this salmon dish for years but all of a sudden it tastes better served with the butternut squash pasta as it goes so well together. For this dish I start preparing the topping for the salmon. It’s best to soak the raw almonds from 1-2 hours to soften but as I know with busy parents we often decide last minute what to cook so it tastes almost as good when the nuts aren’t soaked. For this recipe I use almonds and pistachios. Almonds have a subtle flavour while pistachios combine well with these as they are full of flavour (they are part of the cashew nut family and cashews are delicious too!). Plus they add both colour and texture to the topping.
Another ingredient which a lot of people don’t realise adds flavour to any dish is dried mushroom powder. I make my own by grinding dried mushrooms in my thermomix but you can buy the dried powder in some supermarkets. It is available in Supercor and health food shops. When mushrooms are dehydrated they produce their best flavour. It is a deep woody flavour which provides a delicious base to stocks, soups and sauces.
So in a food processor make your dried mushroom powder. Add your almonds, pistachios, garlic, salt and parsley and pulse until coarse. Add lemon rind and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. It comes out slightly moist and a rich green colour.
Grease a baking or lasagne dish. Now prepare your salmon. I buy a side of salmon as it’s so easy to remove all the bones before it’s cooked by using some tweezers. That way the kids don’t complain about bones and mine have yet to find a bone anytime I cook salmon! You can feel the bones as they appear in a straight line. Just pull!
Now place the salmon in your dish and top with the nut crust. Cover with tin foil.
Now prepare your butternut squash by spiralizing it with the largest spaghetti blade.
Place the spiralized butternut squash onto a baking tray and spray with olive or rapeseed oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Place your salmon and butternut squash in a preheated oven at 180˚c and bake for 15 minutes.
Take out the butternut squash if it is tender. Now take off the foil on the salmon dish and bake uncovered for the last 10 minutes. If you want it really crusty then place it under a grill for 5 to 10 minutes. Return your squash to the oven for 3 minutes to heat and serve the salmon on a bed of butternut squash pasta. Top with freshly milled pepper. Delish!
- 2 sides of salmon
- 225g almonds, soaked in water
- 200g pistachio nuts, shelled
- 50g dried mushrooms or mushroom powder
- 1 handful fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons lemon rind
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pureed garlic
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
- 2 large butternut squash
- Rapeseed or olive oil
- Soak the almonds for 1 hour in water. Drain.
- Prepare your salmon by removing the bones.
- Place your dried mushrooms in your food processor and blend until you make a fine powder. Add your nuts, garlic, salt and parsley and blend until coarse.
- Mix in your lemon rind and olive oil.
- Place your salmon in a greased baking dish, top with the nut crust topping and cover with tin foil.
- Meanwhile, spiralise the butternut squash with the largest spaghetti blade.
- Place on a baking tray, add seasoning and spray with oil.
- Place both the salmon and squash in a preheated oven and bake for 15 -20 minutes at 180˚c. Remove the squash if it is tender and remove the foil from the salmon. Return the salmon uncovered and bake for a further 10 minutes.
- Return your squash to the oven for 3 minutes.
- Serve the salmon on a bed of your vegetable pasta.
- For extra crispiness grill the top of your salmon at the end for 10 minutes.
- This is also delicious served with courgette pasta.