I’ve found that the hardest part about living by myself is the fact that I am incapable of cooking for just one person. My mom often complained about this same problem once Liz and I went to college, but I never thought it would be that difficult. I was wrong. As you can see from my last post, I tend to make recipes that feed a crowd. That’s great if you are living with a bunch of people, but not so good when you live by yourself and find sanity in cooking something different several times a week.
For dinner today, I decided to tackle my problem head on using a 3-oz fillet of fish, some salad greens, and a sweet potato. This dish happens to combine a lot of staples in my kitchen. In my family, if we don’t think we’ll use all of the salmon right away, we always cut it into portions, wrap them individually, and pop them in the freezer. This makes cooking for one much easier, as I just have to pop a fillet in the fridge on the morning that I intend to eat fish for dinner. The great thing about salads is that it’s easy to make only one serving, making them the perfect accompaniment for your main dish. While I suggest you roast an entire sweet potato at once, you can save half and re-crisp the pieces under the broiler for five minutes later in the week–you’ll save an extra step in a future meal. Same goes for lemon zest- you can always zest a whole lemon and save the rest of the zest in the freezer or in the fridge for future use.
Herbed Salmon with Lemon Sweet Potato Salad
While designed for one serving, this dish is easily expandable to accommodate more people.
- 1 sweet potato, peeled
- 1, 3-oz salmon fillet
- ¼ cup fresh, flat-leaf parley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced onion
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- Zest of ¼ lemon
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil
- 1½ to 2 cups salad greens
- Salt and pepper to taste
- First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Prepare your sweet potato: cut in half lengthwise, then again horizontally. Cut each quarter into ¼-inch wedges.
- Line half of a large baking sheet with aluminum foil, folding up the edges about ¼-inch. Place your potato wedges on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
- Next, prepare your herbed butter: in a small bowl, add half the parsley, all of the onion, and the butter, along with a sprinkling of salt. Stir until evenly combined.
- Place your fish in the middle of another piece of aluminum foil (again, about half-a-baking sheet’s worth). Season generously with salt and pepper. Top with the herbed butter and fold up the edges as if forming a packet. Do not close the foil, however, and instead leave a decent opening at the top.
- Bake for 15 minutes in your preheated oven, flipping your sweet potatoes midway through cooking.
- After 15 minutes, check to see if your fish is done. Remove the fish from the oven and turn on the broiler.
- Allow the sweet potatoes to cook for an additional 2 to 5 minutes, until slightly golden. Remove from the oven.
- While the fish and potatoes are cooking, make your dressing: in a small bowl, combine your lemon juice, zest, olive oil, and the remainder of your parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste and whisk until combined.
- Place your salad greens in your serving plate. Top with about half of the sweet potatoes and drizzle with the lemon-parsley dressing. Top with the fish and serve warm.