In this latest installment of Cooking for your Health, the focus is on promoting health and weight loss without sacrificing the pleasure of good food. Low-fat, nutrient-rich diets do not need to be boring or tasteless. This recipe for Salmon Wrapped in Kale Leaves with Dill and Harissa proves just that. It’s a healthy and delicious meal which will nourish your body and provide essential vitamins, nutrients and protein. It’s also an easy recipe to prepare, yielding elegant, dinner-party results which will be enjoyed by all, whether they are on a diet or not.
Salmon is a top protein choice low in saturated fat, rich in vitamins B and D, minerals and Omega-3 amino acids. Teamed up with kale, a cruciferous superfood packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants, you have a dream meal that is a nutritional powerhouse and tastes great, too. The earthy kale leaves pair beautifully with rich and buttery salmon. A squirt of harissa and a few frizzy dill sprigs crown the wraps with vibrant heat, color and spice. Eating for your health doesn’t get any better than this.
Baked Salmon and Kale Wraps with Dill and Harissa
A spoonful of homemade harissa brightens this simple recipe. Sriracha may be substituted for the harissa. Serves 4 as a dinner course or 8 as a light lunch.
16 large kale leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large bunch dill sprigs with stems
1 lemon, halved
4 center-cut salmon fillets, each about 8 ounces and 1-inch thick, halved
Freshly ground black pepper
Harissa or Sriracha sauce
Remove and discard the tough stems and ribs from the kale, leaving the leaves intact. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale leaves, and blanch to soften, about 15 seconds. Transfer the kale to an ice water bath to cool. Drain and dry thoroughly on a kitchen towel.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Select 8 large dill sprigs without stems and set aside. Scatter the remaining dill sprigs with stems over the bottom of the pan.
Brush salmon filets with olive oil. Squeeze 1/2 lemon over the salmon and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place a piece of salmon on a kale leaf. Wrap the leaf around the salmon. If necessary, use another kale leaf to sufficiently cover. Arrange the the kale-wrapped salmon over the dill in the baking pan, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining salmon filets and kale leaves. Brush the kale leaves with olive oil and squeeze more lemon over the fish. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper. Bake in oven until salmon is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Serve warm, garnished with a spoonful of harissa.