This post is sponsored on behalf of B&W Quality Growers. As always all opinions are my own and thanks for supporting brands that I work with.
Dive into a mix of different flavors and textures for dinner tonight with this Salmon and Watercress Grain Bowls with Sweet Potato and Zucchini Noodles
The first day of summer is still just over a week away but it arrived in full force this past week. With temperatures rising above 90 degrees for the last 4 days, I have officially entered into cold food and stove-top only cooking mode at home. The inside of my oven will not see the light of day again unless temperatures drop or September comes!
All of this makes me appreciative of the person that came up with the idea of grain bowls. I love the endless possibilities; how quickly they can come together and the fact that you can prepare most of the ingredients ahead of time. Just the other day I was discussing how I was having trouble making time for nutritious meals at home, so I will take any chance I can to pack in a meal full of vegetables. After all this Salmon and Watercress Grain Bowl is packing in 3 types of vegetables in just one meal, can it get any better than that?
As of late my newest vegetable of choice has been the powerhouse green watercress! Back in the beginning of May, I had the opportunity to attend a watercress dinner hosted by B&W Quality Growers with Chef Ming Tsai and since then watercress has slowly been finding a way into one meal or another throughout the week.
One of the most nutrient dense foods, watercress is packed full flavor with a peppery bite and is a great source of Vitamins A, C K. It also happens to be a cancer fighter thanks to its high levels of phytochemicals known as isothiocyanates.
While extremely easy to care for, watercress does have a short shelf life. You’ll want to prepare and enjoy it within a few days of bringing it home from the store. You can purchase watercress is one of two forms and either way will work for this grain bowl. The first is bunch watercress and just wrap a wet paper towel around the stems before placing in a plastic bag, which you should leave slightly open before placing in the refrigerator. The next is triple, pre-washed, pre-packed baby watercress with dark green and crisp leaves.
Moving back to our grains bowls – the best place to start is with your grain of choice. Go for brown rice, millet, farro, quinoa, wheat berries, etc. .), then your protein, vegetables, dressing and any additional crunchy toppings of choice.
I like to mix up tastes and textures here pairing the nutty farro with peppery watercress, quick cooking spiralized sweet potatoes, raw zucchini noodles for crunch, pan-seared wild salmon and to finish it all off creamy tahini sauce with sesame seeds to pull it all together. I actually meant to add avocado too but completely forgot! Go ahead and add it to the mix, we had it with dinner later in the evening and it was delicious!
The most effort goes into preparing the farro – which takes about 40 minutes to cook and that’s why I love that you can make this all ahead of time. Make a big pot and enjoy different versions of grain bowls for lunch and dinner all week long. Watercress holds up so well that you can easily toss it in with all your ingredients and it won’t turn soggy by lunchtime. Plus by spiralizing your sweet potatoes, all it takes is about 5 minutes for them to cook through instead of an hour in the oven!
- 1 cup uncooked farro
- 1/2lb wild salmon fillet
- 2 cups watercress
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled
- 1 medium zucchini
- black and white sesame seeds for garnish
- 1/4 cup tahini paste
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat add the farro and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook the farro for about 40 minutes until it is tender and chewy and the water has been absorbed. You can prepare the farro 1-2 days in advance.
- Using the spaghetti blade on your spiralizer, spiralize the sweet potato and then the zucchini, keeping the two separated.
- In a medium non-stick pan over medium heat with about 1 tablespoon of oil saute the sweet potato for about 5 minutes, making sure to stir frequently to keep the sweet potato from burning. After 5 minutes the sweet potato should be completely cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Dry the salmon on both sides with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.
- In a cast iron skillet over medium heat drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil and add the salmon skin side down once the oil starts to shimmer. Lower the heat slightly and cook for about 4 minutes for medium-rare and 5-7 minutes for medium. Flip and cook on the reverse side for about 30 seconds and remove to a plate to rest.
- Mix up your tahini sauce by whisking together the tahini paste, lemon juice, minced garlic, water and salt in a small bowl until smooth.
- To put together your grain bowl divide the farro between two bowls and then the cooked sweet potato, raw zucchini, a cup each of watercress and flake the salmon on top.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and drizzle the tahini sauce.
- All parts of the grain bowl can be prepared ahead of time and served warm, at room temperature or cold.