By now, it’s evident that one of my favorite ways to direct my kitchen experiments is to try to mix and match different ingredients that serve the same purpose. Sometimes, this can lead to unusual and exotic combinations, such as last night, in which I experimented with Brazilian traditions to protect my brain and improve my mental health: salmon with passion fruit sauce!
I’m very fond of salmon, both for its rich taste and its high Omega-3 content – it’s not the first time I’ve sought its amazing neuro-protective properties, which basically keep all brain circuits properly oiled. Combining fish with sweet and tangy flavors is something best seen in Asian cuisines, but this tropical recipe uses passion fruit, a well-known remedy for relaxation and sleep. Its aroma is one of those that inspires happy, calm thoughts, which is why its flowers are brewed into infusions to help sleep… and we all know, a well-rested brain tonight is an efficient brain tomorrow.
The fairly simple recipe also includes mint and cilantro, which are good for digestion and have a nice share of calcium:
- 4 salmon fillets (1.5 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 small onion, shredded
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup passion fruit pulp
- ½ cup crème fraiche
- ½ cup fresh mint
- ½ cup chopped scallions
- ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Whisk together one tablespoon oil with salt and pepper, and rub the mix on each fillet.
- Bake the fish for 15 minutes, until it flakes easily with a fork.
- While the fish is cooking, sauté onions in a skillet, until translucent. Lower heat to a minimum, and add brown sugar and passion fruit, stirring frequently until they melt (no more than two minutes). Add the crème, stir quickly and turn off the fire.
- Take the salmon out of the oven, and place them on their final plates. Add 3 tablespoons of passion fruit sauce on top of each fillet.
- In a separate bowl, mix mint, scallions, and cilantro. Place a tablespoon of this mix on top of the sauce.
Since crème fraiche is a bit too heavy on the calorie and saturated fat side, you can swap it for regular milk, although the end result may be a bit more liquid. This recipe mixes well with some quinoa or wild rice on the side. Enjoy!