Strawberries, of course, are super eaten out of hand. But they work just as well in main dishes ranging from chicken to fish. In today's recipe, strawberries are used in a salsa along with mango, basil and, for crunch, cucumber. You can use peaches or nectarines, too. But I chose mango because it's in season now and mighty tasty.
It's best to make the salsa at least an hour in advance. Fresh strawberries are very juicy, and the longer the mixture sits, the juicier it will be.
Salmon and citrus also are a good match, so this salsa is paired with broiled orange-glazed salmon. Using the broiler makes this a quick dish. It takes just a few minutes for the broiler to preheat and the salmon cooks in about 8 to 10 minutes, depending on its thickness. Broiling salmon also gives the top of the salmon a nice deep golden color.
Thanks to an easy glaze, the top of the salmon gets a thin caramelized coating.
For this glaze, I used leftover fruit juice stashed away in the freezer. Whenever I have juice that's not being put to use, I freeze it in ice cube trays or muffin tins. Having a bag of the frozen juice cubes already portioned out makes it handy for dishes such as this one.
Take out just what you need and the juice cubes defrost quickly at room temperature or in the microwave. If you freeze the juice in a muffin tin, each portion is just about ½ cup. Using an ice cube tray, each cube is a good 2 tablespoons.
Finally, nutrition-wise, strawberries and spinach are a good pair, each providing antioxidants.
Cooking with salmon
When broiling salmon, you need to watch so it doesn't overcook. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that most seafood be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Use an instant-read thermometer to check; if you don't have one, it's a good idea to invest in one.
Another indication the salmon is done is that it should separate easily with a fork — not flake. If it flakes, it's way overdone.
To ensure the salmon stays moist, you can brine it. Dissolve ½ cup kosher salt and ½ cup sugar in about 10 to 12 cups water. Add the salmon, refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Remove and rinse the salmon thoroughly and pat dry.