I keep repeating it. Cooking for yourself and your family doesn’t have to be time-consuming, hard, expensive, or fancy. It just has to be delicious.
This “Baked Fish and Broccoli” recipe not only is fast (it will get you in and out of the kitchen in 15 minutes), but it’s also simple and delicious.
You see, the key to ultrafast cooking is often to only use 1 or 2 kitchen utensils or pots. The least amount of dishwashing you have to do, the better.
I’m using salmon today. So read this recipe as “Baked Salmon and Broccoli”. However, just like in a lot of my recipes, ingredients are interchangeable. Don’t be afraid to substitute when it makes sense to you.
Today, it makes sense to me to use salmon. Tomorrow I might use cod. Or flounder, grouper, halibut or snapper. There may be a few variations in the timing, but it’s safe to say that an 8-ounce piece of salmon cooks the same as an 8-ounce piece of cod.
Same with the vegetables. I’m using broccoli but feel free to use cauliflower, or a vegetable you suspect will take about the same time to cook: asparagus, zucchini, red peppers, or Brussel sprouts (cut in half, though).
Regarding the spices and herbs, today I used basil and parsley, as well as a dash of Spanish paprika. Simply because I had all of that in my kitchen. But I may as well use cilantro, grated lemon peel and curry next time. It’s important to be flexible and creative in the kitchen, so that you use what you have on hand, as opposed to doing yet another trip to the grocery store to find the exact spice a given recipe calls for (probably you find it!).
So here is how to make this Baked Salmon with Broccoli. As you can see there’s only a few ingredients. Fresh salmon is one of them. You want to make sure the fish you buy is fresh. How? Ask your fishmonger how long that fish has been sitting there. Also look at how fresh and colorful it looks. Hopefully it’s not slimy, there’s no “juices” coming out and standing underneath, and it’s not smelly. Ask the fishmonger to show it to you up close. Fresh fish does not smell like anything at all. If you can smell something, pass.
Next, I use a bowl to throw my salmon in and mix it with olive oil, herbs and spices. And salt and pepper. This takes a minute or two.
You can do the same with the broccoli, and then lay it all out on a sheet pan to bake.
How do you know your fish is cooked? First, a 20-minute cooking time will cook that salmon through. But you may want to take it out earlier, or later, depending on how you like your fish. I tend to cook fresh salmon (emphasis on fresh!) until it’s light pink on the outside (see photos) but still moist and darker on the inside. Don’t hesitate to take a paring knife and make a small incision in the fish to see if it is to your liking.
Once it’s cooked and ready, I like to drizzle the fish and broccoli with a good squeeze of lemon or lime, and a dash of my best extra-virgin olive oil. It’s delicious!
Baked Fish and Broccoli
- 4 salmon fillets
- salt and pepper to taste
- extra-virgin olive oil
- fresh herbs such as basil, parsley, or cilantro
- 2 lbs broccoli or cauliflowers
- lemon wedges, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle fish with olive oil, sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper and place on a sheet pan.
- Do the same with broccoli/cauliflower and add to the pan.
- Roast fish for 20 minutes until the fish is opaque and tender when pierced with a fork but before it starts to flake. Serve with lemon wedges.