Now that frost is on the pumpkin and fall has officially arrived, my culinary thoughts turn to comfort food, which for some inexplicable reason often excludes seafood.

I don’t know why, but seafood feels more like a spring and summer protein to me. It’s light, and good for me and neither of those characteristics seems very comforting, with one exception — salmon.

When I say versatile, I don’t mean in that “boneless, skinless, chicken breast” way, which can mean it won’t clash with other flavors because it has none of its own. Salmon has a distinct flavor that holds its own with other ingredients without overwhelming them and, because it can hold its own, it can handle being matched with other bold flavors.

This week I’m diving fully into fall with maple and Dijon mustard-glazed roasted salmon fillets. And I’m doubling down on the “seasonal cooking” mode by serving it with an ultra-comforting farro and mushroom pilaf.

The dish is easy to assemble. Just preheat a hot oven, boil the farro, roast some sliced mushrooms with salmon fillets that have been brushed with a mixture of dark and flavorful maple syrup, Dijon mustard and a splash of cider vinegar for acidity.

When the farro is cooked and the mushrooms and salmon are properly roasted, all that needs to be done is to sauté some shallots in butter and stir in the farro, mushrooms and some finely chopped chives.

A simple salad rounds out the perfect fall meal. Easy and fast, this meal is sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party, but efficient enough to make on a Tuesday night. What could be more comforting than that?


Meredith Deeds is a cookbook author and food writer from Edina. Reach her at Follow her on Twitter ­at @meredithdeeds.