Joe Gitter – senior editor at America’s Test Kitchen and an on-screen instructor for America’s Test Kitchen Online Cooking School
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Pomegranate-Glazed Salmon with Black-Eyed Peas and Walnuts
Why This Recipe Works
For a hands-free way of cooking foolproof salmon with a nicely browned exterior and a silky, moist interior, we developed a hybrid roasting method, preheating the oven to 500 degrees but then turning down the heat to 275 just before placing the fish in the oven. The initial blast of high heat firmed the exterior and rendered some excess fat from the skin. The fish gently cooked in the oven and stayed moist as the temperature slowly dropped. Pomegranate molasses, a sweet-and-sour syrup, does double-duty here, acting as both a glaze for the salmon itself as well as a main ingredient in our black-eyed pea salad dressing, tying the two elements together. The fresh, sweet, acidic, and nutty components perfectly complement the richness of the salmon.
Total Time 25 minutes
- 1 (6- to 8-ounce) skin-on salmon fillet, 1 inch thick
- ¼ teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, divided
- ¼ teaspoon table salt, divided
- ¼ teaspoon pepper, divided
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¾ cup canned black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained well
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley, mint, or chives
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- 2 tablespoons toasted chopped walnuts, pecans, or pistachios
1 Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place sheet on rack. Pat salmon dry with paper towels. Brush with ¼ teaspoon oil and 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses then sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper.
2 Once oven reaches 500 degrees, reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. Remove sheet from oven and carefully place salmon, skin side down, on hot sheet. Roast salmon until center is still translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and registers 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 9 to 13 minutes.
3 Meanwhile, whisk lemon juice, 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt, and remaining ⅛ teaspoon pepper together in bowl until combined. Add black-eyed peas, parsley, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts and toss to combine. Season salad with salt and pepper to taste.
4 Remove salmon from oven and brush with remaining 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses. Transfer salmon to plate and serve with black-eyed pea salad.