Winter is still lingering in pockets, while in others (my own) there was a sunshine burst of near 80 degree weather last week! But citrus is still lining the market stalls, so here’s a bright winter rainbow bowl bursting with caramelized fennel & wintery roots, charred citrus, umami miso, succulent slow roasted salmon, and hints of fresh herbs. It’s winter produce with summer vibes. And like virtually all of my recipes now that I’m a working mom, it’s easy and adaptable. First burn some citrus in a skillet, then stir dressing up in a bowl, throw some haphazardly chopped veg on a sheet tray, roast a salmon filet on low for about 15 minutes (or omit it to make this a beautiful vegan rainbow bowl which we do often!), and boil some farro like pasta. Done and done. AND the leftovers are killer with an egg on top. Which is kind of our M.O. in this house. Eggs and avo on #allthethings. We’re not sorry about it.
I’m not ready to let go of winter and my big sweater coat just yet, not ready to trade in my clicky heeled black leather boots for sandals. But this recipe, this recipe spans seasons. This slow roasted salmon rainbow bowl has an almost tropical vibe, which would absolutely put me off of making this it if I read that. But really, in the best possible way.
Slow roasting salmon or raw salmon at my favorite sushi bar are the only two ways I can abide salmon. I hate the weird white stuff (okay, fat) that oozes out of it, the chalky dry texture…just no. I am NOT a salmon fan. Well, I wasn’t. Until I discovered this method a few years back. Low and slow and salmon make great friends. And slow is relative…it still only take a few minutes!
I also usually make a big batch of farro, a big batch of dressing, and a big batch of roasted veg & citrus to use throughout the week so that this doesn’t just feed us once. I’m a BIG advocate of the sheet pan all the things roast. So, don’t feel married to the specific veggies I used here. These are just some of our favorites, so we tend to have them lingering in the fridge. You could use carrots, celery root, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, and anything else that would roast well. And if you don’t have blood oranges? Yeah, just use regular ones! No sweat. No Meyer lemon? Lemon lemons work too.
And a note, if I can’t source GREAT salmon, I tend to omit it or substitute tofu, tempeh, or eggs. It’s a treat. If I can’t find high quality, it won’t be a yummy ingredient, and it isn’t doing the world any favors either. I look for wild Alaskan salmon because the fisheries there are healthy & plentiful. For the sake of the dish and the sake of the fish, be mindful where your seafood is hailing from, how fresh it is, and the methods with which it was caught! Okay, PSA over.
If you can get you hands on some beautiful salmon…this is totally what you should do with it!
PS. I’ve been up to a LOT! You can listen to not one but TWO podcast interviews where I talk about my story & struggle with mental illness, social media as a tool for creative business, how to deal with being copied (and the difference between copying and inspiration!), and SO much more!
Yield: serves 2 hungry people or 4 as a smaller dish
Slow roasting the salmon renders the fat between the layers and yields moist, pink salmon instead of the dry chalky stuff you get when you roast it on higher heat. And don't feel married to the veggies we have here! I do love the anise scented fennel, sweet beets, cabbage, and radish roasted together, but you can use any winter roots like celery root, parsnips, carrot, or turnips. You can really mix this up and make it your own to use what you have on hand.
For Miso Dressing
2 tablespoon white miso (can sub red miso)
3 tablespoons neutral oil (we used untoasted sesame but you can use grapeseed, canola, or avocado oil)
1 teaspoon mirin (if you need to omit, slightly increase the maple syrup or sweetener of choice)
1 teaspoon maple syrup (can sub honey or cane sugar)
2 teaspoons shoyu or tamari (soy sauce)
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar (can sub whatever good vinegar you have on hand but I'd stay away from balsamic)
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
juice of 1/2 blood orange
juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon
1 8-12 ounce piece of awesome salmon ( preferably center cut)
1 fennel bulb, cored & quartered, cut into 1/2" wedges (reserve fronds for garnish!)
1/2 blood orange, sliced
1/2 Meyer lemon, sliced
1-2 golden beets (can sub regular), cut into 1" pieces
1/4 red cabbage, cored & sliced 1/2" thick
1-2 watermelon radishes (can sub any other kind of radish), cut into 1" pieces
For the Salad
1 cup cooked farro
a sprig or two of chopped fresh mint (optional)
1 blood orange, supremed
1 shallot, thinly shaved on a mandolin or thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, sliced or diced
1 small handful chopped roasted, unsalted pistachios (optional, can omit or sub another nut or dukkah!)
raw watermelon radish shaved or sliced thin (optional, but great for crunch!)
Heat oven to 250 F.
Meanwhile, make the dressing: heat a nonstick skillet or a skillet with a little bit of oil until it's VERY hot. Quarter a meyer lemon and one of the two blood oranges you should have. Put two quarters of the lemon and two quarters of the blood orange in the crazy hot skillet and char well, reserving the other halves for the salad.The charred pieces should be nice and burnt for maximum flavor!
In a bowl whisk together the all of the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
Cook the salmon: season the skin of the salmon with a sprinkling of flaky sea salt, and then place the salmon in a parchment lined sheet tray or oven proof skillet skin side down. Spread 1 tablespoon of the dressing over the flesh of the salmon and roast at 275 for 10-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the salmon. Slow roasting renders the fat, and the salmon should stay relatively pink instead of getting chalky. It almost looks raw, but it's cooked! If it flakes easily with a fork, it's done regardless of color. It should be tender and moist. I like to crisp the skin in a VERY hot skillet for about 20-30 seconds after roasting because I like crispy skin, but this step is optional.
Prepare the roasted veggies: While the salmon roasts, slice the remaining half of the blood orange and remaining half a meyer lemon in 1/4"-1/2" thick slices, and toss them along with the fennel, beets, cabbage, and radish on a sheet tray with a glug of olive oil and two three finger pinches of flaky salt like kosher or sea salt.
Roast the veggies: Once you've removed the salmon from the oven, crank up the heat to 450 F. Once it comes to temperature, place the sheet tray with the citrus and veggies on it and roast them for 20-30 minutes until tender and caramelized.
Prepare the Salad: While the veggies roast, boil farro in a pot of salted water (you want it salty to season the farro!) until chewy but tender about 10-15 minutes. You don't want it mushy! Farro should have some bite left to it. While the farro cooks, supreme the remaining blood orange by cutting off the peel and pith with a sharp knife and then cutting out the segments.
Assemble the Salad: Place 1/4-1/2 cup cooked farro in each bowl. Top with roasted veggies and torn roasted salmon. Divide mint, supremed blood orange, shallot, avocado, pistachios, shaved radish, and fennel frond evenly among the bowls. Top with the miso dressing and a sprinkling of sea salt if desired. Enjoy the rainbow!
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