Do you guys know that story about Robert Rauschenberg? The one where the interviewer asked him “How do you know when you are finished with a painting?” and he responded “When I sell it.” Meaning, he’s never finished, and as long as the work is in his possession he will keep reworking it forever. This is what came into mind the other night as I stared at the galley of my book, which, in one form or another, has been sitting on my dining room table for the past six months, as I go back and forth from the kitchen tweaking and replacing and reworking and driving my editor and designer crazy. But I had just made this dinner — salmon and brussels sprouts, a combination which I had spied in both Martha Stewart and Real Simple in the same week, then married that with a Momofuku-inspired ginger scallion sauce — and I began to leaf through the pages looking for a place to squeeze it in. It’s so quintessentially DALS — simple, weeknight-friendly, tasty — how could it not be in the book?!! And not that I’m in any way comparing my writing to a Rauschenberg Combine painting, but I do believe it’s just the element that would turn my book from cookbook to masterpiece. It’s so good! It’s so easy! But alas, my deadline was for real this time (I said goodbye to the galley forever — terrifying) so I have no choice but to give you the recipe here and now.
Salmon and Brussels Sprouts with Ginger-Scallion Sauce
Note: This recipe has been updated to address some of the issues raised in the comment field. Thank you for your feedback!
Preheat oven to 375°F. Slice a 1 1/4 pound salmon fillet into 4-ounce pieces as shown above. Trim and halve 4 cups of brussels sprouts and in a bowl, toss them with 2 tablespoons of oil (olive or vegetable), salt and pepper. (Do your best to keep all the brussels leaves on the sprout, because those individual leaves burn fast when roasted.) Place sprouts on a foil-lined cookie sheet and roast for 15 minutes, tossing half way through. (And don’t worry, they should look a little charred.) Turn heat to 450°F. Nestle salmon filets among the sprouts and roast another 10 minutes. Serve with ginger-scallion sauce.
Ginger-scallion sauce (adapted from Momofuku cookbook)
Combine the following in a small bowl: 1 large bunch scallions (green and white parts), chopped; 1 tablespoon finely minced peeled fresh ginger; 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed; 1 tablespoon soy sauce; a drop or two of fish sauce (optional) 2 tablespoons sherry or rice wine vinegar; a little chopped mint, a squeeze of Sriracha, salt and pepper to taste.