Hazelnut-Crusted Salmon and Wilted Kale & PotatoesHazelnuts are such a treat, I believe. So I was compelled to try the “Hazelnut-Crusted Salmon,” from All Recipes, where I would also use mayonnaise, tarragon, and orange zest in a pleasantly perfumed dish. The half cup of mayonnaise that the recipe asked for was too much for this application. Less would have been fine, and mustard should have played a role in this too (a mayo/mustard combo, perhaps?). Rather than “spraying” my baking sheet with oil, I drizzled a bit of canola oil. I cooked the fish for 20 minutes. The orange zest made quite an impression in the flavor.

I also made the “Wilted Kale and Roasted-Potato Winter Salad,” from the December 2008 issue of Gourmet. I was enticed by the use of tahini here. Tahini is a thick sesame-seed paste, used in Middle Eastern cooking (think “sesame butter”). And tahini will definitely enrich your life, once you keep it in your food arsenal. I halved this recipe, using only 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes and less than 1/2 lb. of kale. The combined flavors of Parmigiano-Reggiano, tahini, and garlic were absolutely wild. Tangy, rich. I enjoyed adding the kale raw to the hot, cooked potatoes. No cooking the greens! Dave was very surprised at the tastiness of this simple dish. It is intriguing and addictive. There is nothing humdrum about this greens-and-potatoes display. Knock yourself out with this one.

RECIPES: nut-crusted fish is often nice (use a mayo/mustard combo as a coating); make magic with Parmesan/tahini/garlic in your kale
PREP TIMES: fish in less than 30 minutes; kale and potatoes takes not much longer
TASTES: salmon is charmed by orange zest and tarragon; I can’t say enough good things about the tasty combination of Parmesan cheese, tahini, and garlic in the kale and potatoes

Next time, I want to try a pair of vegetarian recipes. I’ll make “Tempeh Bourgignon,” from the November 2006 issue of Vegetarian Times, along with “Creamy Spinach Potage,” (that’s a soup!), from the January 2006 issue of the same publication. This should be wonderful. Come back to my site on Wednesday, April 29, to see what happens.