Don’t you love it when a quick, throw-it-together dinner turns into your new favorite dish?
I have to admit, dill and capers aren’t usually the first things I think of when I’m wondering what to make. I don’t have anything against them, but for some reason they just don’t enter into the equation for me. It’s like I tucked them away long ago in the dusty attic of my culinary repertoire, where they’ve languished ever since. Until recently, that is, when I found myself wandering aimlessly through the store, scratching my head over what I would put on the table.
My go-to protein when I don’t know what to make is fish, and coho salmon was on sale for a fantastic price. My instinct was to make a simple maple dijon glaze, like what I used in this recipe, but again, those flavors are my comfort zone, my safe place, and this time I wanted to do something different. Out of nowhere, dill and capers popped into my head, and (once I finished brushing the dust and cobwebs off them) practically screamed: use us!
With that revelation, I promptly added them to my basket and left the store, without thinking how I would incorporate them into my dish, or whether or not I needed anything else to bring them together. So when it came time to cook, I found myself perusing the contents of my fridge, in search of something saucy. Tangy greek yogurt (a staple in our house) became the perfect medium for the dill and capers, and basically became my new favorite thing when it spilled over my plate and onto the potatoes and brussels sprouts.
Speaking of which, those garlicky potatoes and brussels sprouts almost deserve a blog post all to themselves. They are so ridiculously easy to make, I’ve already made them three times as sides for other meals — once when we had company over, and every last bite disappeared. They’re the type of thing you can’t just leave sitting in the pan in the kitchen, because you’ll start popping them into your mouth every time you pass by, and before you know it they’ll be gone. Trust me, I’ve been there, and it is not a pretty sight when you have to explain why there isn’t any dinner even though the house smells so good. (Tip: when they are done roasting, turn off the oven and crack the door open, and leave them in there until you’re ready to serve. That way they’ll stay nice and warm, and it will help prevent them from flying off the tray and into your mouth. Because that totally happens.)
The Husband, moonlighting as a hand model again. The self control it takes him not to eat the food right off the fork while I set up my shot is so intense, you can feel it in the air. You gotta love a man who will use that kind of willpower for you. He’s a keeper, that one.
- 1½ lbs small redskin potatoes, quartered
- 1 lb. brussels sprouts, halved
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
- ¼-1/2 tsp ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- ¼ cup + 2 TBSP olive oil
- ¼ cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 TBSP mayonnaise
- 2 TBSP fresh chopped dill
- 2 TBSP capers
- 1 TBSP juice from the capers
- 4 6oz fillets coho salmon (or other kind of salmon)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F., and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- Halve the brussels sprouts, and cut the potatoes into quarters. (Or, if they are larger, dice them into about 1 inch pieces.) Place into a large bowl, and toss to combine along with the garlic, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup olive oil. Spread onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until browned and crispy, stirring a couple of times during cooking to ensure even browning.
- In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, stir together the greek yogurt, mayonnaise, dill, capers, and caper juice. Add several good grinds of fresh cracked black pepper, then taste and add a small pinch of salt if needed (keep in mind that capers usually have lots of salt in them, and depending on the capers you use you may not need to add any). Set the sauce aside.
- When the potatoes and brussels sprouts are almost done, start on the salmon. Pat salmon fillets dry with a paper towel, then season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, and add two TBSP olive oil. Place the salmon into the pan skin-side down, and let cook for 4-5 minutes. Flip, and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until the salmon is just barely opaque in the center, and flakes easily with a fork.
- Remove from the pan, and serve immediately with plenty of potatoes and brussels sprouts, a spoonful of sauce, and a sprinkling of fresh snipped dill for garnish.
Optional: for even more flavor, I sometimes like to add about 1 TBSP fresh chopped herbs to the potatoes and brussels sprouts once they're done cooking. Whatever you have on hand will do -- rosemary, thyme, parsley, or more fresh dill are all great -- just toss to combine prior to serving.