Salmon. It’s one of my favorite ways to get protein onto my plate. It’s got all those yummy essential fats and the flavor is so buttery it’s beyond. And when it’s paired with pasta, it’s even better!
Yes, I eat pasta. This surprises a lot of people because they don’t consider it part of a ‘clean eating’ lifestyle. But I observe the 90/10 rule, which is one of the all-important strategies in my book.
It’s 10% day so, I’m having pasta with my blackened grilled salmon from Cedar Bay Grilling Company which is pre-seasoned and comes on its own cedar plank to make it easy as pie to grill – paired with ‘burnt’ Brussels from my book. Grilling salmon on a cedar plank is soooo good because not only does it impart incredible flavor, there’s something about the aroma that just does it for me. Maybe it’s the Colorado girl in me that loves getting into the outdoors or something.
The pasta is organic, from Italy, and no it is not gluten-free because sometimes, this is what I want and I don’t have a gluten issue with high quality products. If you don’t either, then by all means! I just don’t eat it every day. I’m a pasta purist and what I do adhere to is smaller portions loaded with veggies and high-quality protein.
The mediterranean flavors of artichoke hearts and briny Castelvetrano olives combined with the slight sweetness from the caramelized Brussels and just a punch of oregano and smoked paprika with the fire roasted tomatoes and garlic, which gets very mellow when cooked like this, make the perfect complement to the smoky sweetness of the salmon and the best part is, everything can get cooked on the grill including the sauce in about 20 minutes – even the pasta if you have the kind of grill that has a burner. The basic idea for the Brussels is from my book but instead of cooking it in the oven, I’m doing those on the grill, too!
Ladies, if you’re scared of grilling don’t be! It’s just another oven.
No one wants to turn the oven on in the middle of the summer, so that makes this dish that much more perfect. It fuses together my two POV’s on cooking, which I call MedMex – part Mediterranean influence for my upbringing, part Mexican for my So Cal lifestyle where Mexican food is errrything. I do add sheep’s milk feta cheese to this dish to create a little creaminess but if you’d prefer to leave it out, that’s up to you. (I highly recommend it, though).
It’s literally a pasta party with all those yummy veggies commingling and doing a happy dance. Try it yourself and let me know if this becomes part of your regular rotation!
Grilled MedMex Salmon Pasta with Burnt Brussels Sprouts and Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce
1 lb. organic penne pasta
1 Cedar Bay Grilling Company Sugar & Spice Cedar Planked Salmon (you can find it at Kroger, Publix, Hannaford, Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, Ralph’s, Giant, Giant eagle, Stop n Shop and Roche Bros)
2 cups Brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed and halved
3 medium tomatoes, cleaned, quartered and seeded
10 whole garlic cloves
2 tablespoons room temp raw coconut oil or avocado oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fine Himalayan pink salt
1/2 cup artichoke hearts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons pitted Castelvetrano olives, chopped finely
1/4 cup sheep’s milk feta cheese, crumbled
Optional: 3-4 basil leaves, chiffonade chop
- Preheat grill to medium high, 425F.
- Bring 2 quarts of salted water in a large pot to boil. Add penne and cook until firm the bite (al dente). Drain and set aside.
- In a foil tray or grill-proof dish, combine Brussels, tomatoes and whole garlic cloves and toss with oil, paprika, oregano, black pepper and pink salt. Cover with foil and place on grill; position cedar plank next to tray. Grill veggies for 10-12 minutes until softened, taking care not to burn them. Grill salmon for 20 minutes or until internal temperature is 145F.
- Toss cooked pasta with grilled veggies and toss with artichoke hearts, olives and cotija cheese. Top with 1 1/2″ slices of grilled salmon and finish with optional chiffonade of fresh basil. Serve and enjoy to the fullest!
Pro-tip: Makes a great cold pasta salad the next day!