There’s nothing better than a meal that leaves you only one pan to wash. In this recipe, red cabbage and scallions are roasted on the same pan as salmon (or other fish of your choice). It’s a simple but gorgeous meal, and one that can be eaten hot out of the oven or cold the next day mixed with salad greens.
Red cabbage is used here for its eye-catching color, but this cruciferous veg has so much more going for it than just looks. Sulfur-rich and boasting a whopping thirty-six different anthocyanins, that purple color is screaming out “antioxidants!”
Sardine Butter. Does the combination of these two words have you salivating or grimacing? Canned sardines are a delicious, nutritious fish, but they aren’t everyone’s favorite. The flavor can be a little, well, fishy. But there are a lot of omega-3s and other nutrients packed into those small, oily little fish, so finding a way to love ‘em is a worthwhile endeavor.
Butter, on the other hand…who doesn’t love butter? Mashing butter and canned sardines together with lemon and cayenne makes a simple but stunning spread. Sardine butter has a more assertive, less delicate flavor than anchovy butter. But sardine butter is much less “fishy” than sardines straight out of the can (if that’s a plus for your taste buds).
In recipes like this, with so few ingredients, quality matters. Use your favorite salted butter, hopefully one that’s pastured or cultured. Grab a few cans of sardines from the grocery store, taste-testing to find you favorite. Boneless sardines give the butter a smoother texture, but if you don’t mind a little crunchiness (and want the calcium) then go ahead and use bone-in. Whether they’re smoked or un-smoked, packed in water or olive oil, is your choice.
Pickling mussels after they’re cooked is a good way to serve them as an appetizer. A large batch can be made the day before and set out at room temperature with toothpicks. Although, when the mussels are served with seared cherry tomatoes, you’ll need a spoon to scoop up all the garlicky, juicy goodness. And a fork will be necessary if you choose to eat the mussels and tomatoes over a bowl of salad greens, which is a fine idea, too.
When mussels are quick-pickled, for an hour or overnight, it gives them a vinegary kick, plus the heat of smoked paprika and red pepper flakes. The more ways you know to prepare and serve mussels, the better, since they’re a food that should regularly show up on your plate. Why? Mussels are nutrient-dense morsels filled with B vitamins, selenium, zinc, magnesium and manganese. You don’t need to eat a ton of mussels, or other shellfish, to get a healthy serving of nutrients. So share this batch of pickled mussels with friends, or cut the recipe in half for a smaller serving.
Furikake is a Japanese seasoning made from dried fish (bonito), sesame seeds, dried seaweed, salt, sugar, and often msg. A Primal version is easy to make–simply drop the sugar and msg–and you have a versatile seasoning for just about everything.
The ratio of ingredients can be tailored to your own taste, so simply use this furikake recipe as a guide. This particular recipe adds plenty of nori, since you can’t go wrong with a lot of nori.
Lightly toasted sesame seeds add crunch and the bonito flakes add an irreplaceable salty, umami flavor. Most grocery stores these days sell bonito flakes, or it can be ordered online. Bonito is air-dried, aged, and shaved tuna.
An oyster po’ boy is a classic New Orleans sandwich made of oysters breaded in cornmeal and fried until crisp. Set on a white roll, slathered in mayo and topped with iceberg lettuce and tomatoes, it isn’t exactly health food. But if you ditch the white bread and cornmeal, the oyster po’ boy can be reincarnated as a salad that’s really good in its own right.
Fried oysters, it turns out, are a delicious salad topper. In this Primal version of an oyster po’ boy, the oysters are breaded in tapioca flour. Crunchy on the outside and juicy in the middle, they’re perfect tossed with cool iceberg lettuce, fresh tomatoes and a creamy, tangy dressing.
This salmon spread, made from both poached and smoked salmon mashed with butter, is a version of French rillettes. Rillettes, which are similar to pâté, are made from blending together protein and fat. Could there be a better snack?
Rillettes are often made with pork, duck or rabbit meat and lard, but using salmon and butter is easier and a genius way to make creamy salmon spread without adding mayonnaise, cream cheese or sour cream. The blend of salmon and butter (with just a drizzle of olive oil) is flavored with chives, capers and lemon.
There’s really no reason not to treat this “spread” like a salad and eat it with a fork, but if you want finger food then serve salmon rillettes on crispy nori chips.
This salmon rillettes recipe is adapted from the book “Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin.”