Spinach Skordalia and Crispy Salmon Fingers are quick and easy recipes that are also healthy and full-flavored. For dinner tonight I paired them with Sweet Potato Oven Fries and Tomato Salad.
Serves 4 with fried fish or a group as an appetizer
Air-dried heels of homemade or artisan-style bread are just right for skordalia. When we have leftover heels or chunks of bread, I leave them out on the counter to air-dry. After the bread is completely dried out, I store it in an airtight container to use when it’s time to make skordalia (or breadcrumbs).
3 cups chopped and tightly packed fresh spinach leaves
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 - 5 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt
1 cup soggy bread (see Note below)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup best quality olive oil
Sauté the spinach in olive oil just until it wilts, about 30 seconds. Purée 3 cloves garlic by mashing them into the salt (a mortar and pestle works great for this task). Put the spinach, garlic purée, soggy bread, freshly ground black pepper, and lemon juice in a food processor (or blender). Purée the ingredients, making sure to scrape down the sides of the processor bowl, until the mixture is smooth. While the machine is running, slowly pour in the olive oil. You should end up with a mixture that has the consistency of thick mayonnaise. If it is too thick, mix in more olive oil until it reaches the proper consistency. Taste and add the remaining garlic (puréed in salt), lemon juice, or salt, as needed.
Serve with fried fish or as an appetizer with fresh raw vegetables.
Note: To make soggy bread, immerse dry, stale bread in cold water. When the bread has soaked up the water and is soft all the way through, drain the bread and, using your hands, squeeze out all the water until you have a solid ball of bread. The bread is then ready to measure and use in the recipe.
Crispy Salmon Fingers (Σολομός Τηγανητός)
Salmon tastes better if you salt and pepper it at least 1/2 hour before flouring and cooking. Season the salmon and then make Spinach Skordalia; the salmon will be ready to cook as soon as the skordalia is done. Semolina flour makes a crispier coating than white flour, although white flour may also be used in this recipe.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless salmon fillets
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/4 cup olive oil
Wash the salmon and dry it well. Using needle-nosed pliers, remove as many pin-bones from the salmon as possible. Cut the salmon into long, narrow, lengthwise strips. Cut each strip into fingers approximately 3” long. Season the fingers with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Put the semolina flour in a bag; shake the salmon fingers in the bag until they are thoroughly coated with flour. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in each of 2 frying pans until the oil is hot, but not smoking. Divide the salmon fingers between the 2 pans and cook for 2 minutes, or until the pan side of the salmon is lightly browned. Turn over and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through. The exact cooking time depends on the salmon’s thickness; keep in mind that salmon tastes better slightly underdone than overdone.
Serve immediately with Spinach Skordalia.
This is my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging hosted this week by Rachel from The Crispy Cook.