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Provençal Salmon Couscous

Lynda Balslev’s blog Taste Food describes in pictures and words a culinary journey, beginning and ending at the kitchen table. After cooking in Paris at Le Cordon Bleu, Lynda returned to the United States. She currently resides in Northern California with her family and visits many year-round farmers markets. This recipe, in particular, was inspired from a recent market bounty of peppers, squash and tomatoes. You can roast any vegetable you like or can find in season, though. Even if there are just two of you at home, this recipe is wonderful the next day and can actually make a nice scramble if you slice the salmon and veggies and fold them into your morning eggs.

Recipe Note: Lynda likes to roast the vegetables separate from the salmon so that they don't absorb too much of the fish flavor while cooking.

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Ingredients

4 thin, small Chinese eggplants sliced diagonally, 1/2-inch thick

1 poblano pepper, stemmed and seeded, halved, thinly sliced

1 sweet red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, halved, thinly sliced

1 cup small cherry tomatoes

2 garlic cloves, minced

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large leek, white and pale green parts sliced 1/2-inch thick

4 salmon fillets, 6 to 8 ounces each

2 tablespoons, plus 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Sriracha

1 1/2 cups couscous

1 1/4 cups hot water

4 scallions, white parts removed (save for another use), green parts thinly sliced

Directions

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Toss eggplant, peppers, tomatoes and garlic in a bowl with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Transfer to a baking dish. Bake in oven until vegetables are tender and slightly colored, 45 minutes.

3. Place leeks in a rectangular baking dish. Nestle the salmon fillets between the leeks. Whisk 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, Sriracha, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over fish and leeks.

4. Using your hands, gently turn the fish and leeks to coat. Place in same oven with the vegetables. Bake until salmon is just cooked through and beginning to color on top, about 30 minutes.

5. While the salmon is baking, prepare the couscous. Place couscous in a large bowl. Pour hot water over. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir once or twice. Cover and set aside until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Fluff with fork. Stir in scallions.

6. To serve, spoon the couscous onto a large platter or individual serving plates. Sprinkle the roasted vegetables over the couscous. Place the salmon fillets in the center and scatter the leeks around the salmon. Garnish with fresh parsley, and serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 4

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