Summer Bean SaladHere’s my argument for turning your oven up to 450 degrees: roast a head of garlic for 45 minutes, then, roast some salmon fillets for 4 minutes. Really! I put the two together, happily, when I found the following two recipes. Read on…

First, I assembled the “Summer Bean Salad with Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette,” from the July 2016 Food & Wine, because I was dazzled by all the colors of string beans at my food coop. I also couldn’t resist the wacky mix of ingredients for the vinaigrette: roasted garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, peanut butter, gochugaru, sambal oelek, sesame oil. I included 3/4 tsp. salt.

The tangy-spicy vinaigrette was right on. I was happy to roast the head of garlic, enjoying that fantastic smell. I was so in love with my roasted cloves, I couldn’t bear to “reserve half for another use.” Instead, I incorporated the other half head in the “garlic oil” that’s described at the end of the recipe. I can’t make mistakes with garlic.

The string beans do need to be stir-fried until “golden and crisp-tender.” So nice to eat a crunchy bean salad. And that’s not all … there’s basil! I love basil. I used the purple stuff, here.

Sesame-Crusted SalmonAnd then, there’s the salmon. Salmon is a guaranteed winner in my home. It requires nothing to be wonderful, honestly. The “Sesame-Crusted Salmon with Wasabi Dipping Sauce,” from the July/August 2016 Cuisine at Home (recipe below), involves a bit of wasabi, and both black and white sesame seeds. How cute, right?

Sesame-Crusted Salmon with Wasabi Dipping Sauce
Cuisine at Home, July/August 2016
Makes 4 servings

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 tsp. wasabi paste (such as S&B)
1 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. minced red onion

1 Tbsp. each black and toasted white sesame seeds
4 salmon fillets (5 oz. each), skin removed
1 Tbsp. canola oil

Preheat oven to 450° with rack in top third.

For the sauce, whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, wasabi paste, and honey; stir in scallions.

For the salmon, combine black and white sesame seeds. Coat salmon with nonstick spray and top with sesame seeds.

Heat oil in an ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add salmon, seed sides up; cook until bottom is crisp, 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to top rack of oven and roast salmon to desired doneness, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into salmon registers 140° for medium-well, 3–4 minutes more. Serve salmon with sauce.

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The wasabi sauce was salty enough and spicy enough. I used 1 tsp. wasabi powder, rather than paste.

I left the skin on my salmon, gladly, because it tastes good. See how easy this is to assemble. The seeds stick perfectly to the fish, then the salmon sears and roasts super-quick. It just makes perfect sense to add this salmon to your oven for a mere 4 minutes, since you had it on to roast that garlic anyway. Hooray!

Salmon Fillets (20 oz.) = $18.45
Garlic (1 head) = .58¢
Green, Yellow, Burgundy String Beans (1 lb.) = $3.19

PREP TIMES: roast garlic for 45 minutes, pull salad together in 15 minutes; salmon and sauce assembly is super-quick, cook salmon in 10 minutes
TASTES: tangy-spicy vinaigrette and basil dress crunchy string beans, while meaty salmon gets its own salty/spicy sauce

Next time, I want to make good use of another discovery at my food coop: key limes! They’re limes the size of ping-pong balls. I’ll make the “Key Lime Coconut Yogurt Cake” from the June/July 2016 issue of Fine Cooking. Come back to my site next week, to see what happens.