I’m always looking for ideas to make my lunch less solitary and monotonous. I love mixed salads, but they can become quite boring after a while. So today I’ve decided to lose myself through memories of last September, when I was traveling with my husband in the South of France. Camargue sea salt and wild red rice, salmon fillet, winter vegetables and lunch is ready on your plate! This recipe is light and healthy and it evokes the smell and sound of the ocean during winter. Something I’m obsessed with!
The Camargue is a national park in the South of France. Everyone knows it for its swamp flora, the typical white horses and the flocks of flamingos. There are also enchanting villages where you can wander around. Les Saintes Maries de la Mer, Aigues Mortes and Arles are only some of the places we’ve visited, and they’re all absolutely breathtaking. But I have to admit that I knew Camargue for, let’s say, more “culinary” reasons! Specifically, the sea salt and the red rice, two of the best products in the world.
For this recipe, I serve the red rice like they do in Camargue: as a side dish. Its crunchy texture combines perfectly with the creamy cubes of pumpkin. The sweetness of the salmon contrasts with the bitter flavor of the arugula and the salt flakes. One more touch? The orange juice, which gives freshness and balance to the whole dish. No need to wait now: get ready to cook!
Salmon Fillet with Pumpkin Red Rice, Arugula and Orange Vinaigrette (4 servings)
4 salmon fillet (250 gr. each)
400 gr. pumpkin
320 gr. Camargue red rice
zest and juice of a half orange
Camargue sea salt
awesome extra virgin olive oil
100 gr. arugula
LET’S DO IT!
Bring to boil water in a big casserole. For 320 gr. of red rice, you’ll need about 1 lt. and a half of water. When it’s boiling, add a tsp. of salt and the red rice. Cook it for 50 minutes. The rice will still be a bit crunchy, but don’t overcook it, otherwise it will lose its peculiar characteristic. In the meantime, cut the pumpkin into small cubes and fry them in a pan with some extra virgin olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and some rosemary. Let it cook until tender and browned.
For the orange vinaigrette, use the juice of a half orange, some extra virgin olive oil and Camargue sea salt. Beat the mixture until it becomes a bit creamy. If it’s too liquid, simply add some more oil and beat until you have the desired consistency.
When the rice is cooked, drain it and mix it with the pumpkin cubes. Add a bit of oil if the final result is too dry. In the same pan where you’ve browned the pumpkin, cook the salmon fillets for 3 minutes, first on the skin side. Turn the fillets, cover and cook them for 2 more minutes. The interior should remain a bit raw.
Now you’re ready to serve! Put some arugula in a corner and season it simply with salt and oil. Then add the rice with the pumpkin cubes and the salmon fillets. Use the orange vinaigrette on all the elements and enjoy this wonderful mix of flavors!