Herb-roasted salmon with cherries and cherry tomatoes

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This recipe was actually made months ago, and has been getting pushed back as I publish other dishes ever since. It’s not that it wasn’t good. It was. It’s just that I made it at the beginning of summer, when so many things were coming into season and this recipe just didn’t seem to be as urgent to get out there as things like grilled shrimp pasta salad, or cherry bbq sauce and bacon burgers, or tomatoey panzanella and gazpacho with nectarines and ice cream! And so it got pushed back. But now that fall is officially here, I think it’s the perfect time to think about it again.

This was a completely improvised “cooking the cover” moment. I had a house guest and just happened to have pretty much everything I needed on hand, including some delicious ripe cherries from our tree that weren’t in the original recipe. We were also planning a picnic the next day, so I knew that having plenty of leftover couscous and cherry tomatoes would mean a nice, easy tabbouleh for our trip to the Normandy coast.

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This was one of those simple, flavorful recipes that didn’t require any fancy ingredients and truly let each individual flavor shine. The salmon was fresh and flaky and the tomatoes perfectly roasted. The cherries brightened the entire dish while the herbs brought a bit of bite to it. The simple yogurt sauce helped to unite the roasted salmon and the couscous side. The best part was that there was no marinating, no timely preparations: throw the salmon in a baking dish with the herbs and the cherry tomatoes still on the vine, bake for a few minutes and eat! Simple, flavorful, easy.

Herb-roasted salmon with cherries and cherry tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit

Ingredients:
1 C greek yogurt (full or reduced fat)
1 T grated lemon zest
A small handful of finely chopped fresh herbs (I used mint)
3 T olive oil
4 salmon filets
6-8 thyme sprigs
A handful of mint leaves
1 lemon, sliced into rounds`
Salt
1/2 lb cherry tomatoes on the vine
1/2 C not-too-ripe cherries
1 C couscous
1 T butter
3 T olive oil
3/4 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small shallot, diced
More mint and/or parsley

Preheat your oven to 325°. In a baking dish, add half of the olive oil, thyme sprigs and mint leaves and top with the salmon filets, skin side down. Drizzle with remaining oil and season well with salt. Layer the lemon slices over the salmon. Add the cherry tomatoes and cherries and bake for 15-20 minutes until the salmon is just cooked and the tomatoes are slightly roasted.

While the salmon is baking, prepare the yogurt sauce by mixing the yogurt, lemon zest and mint in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Next, prepare the couscous according to the package directions. Once finished, stir in the butter and keep warm. In a large bowl, mix the cherry tomatoes and shallot with the olive oil and herbs, then add the finished couscous. Serve immediately.

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