This recipe is a tried and true favorite. I first starting cooking this two summers ago, when Josh and I committed to following a gluten-free diet and when we moved to Seattle.

Fresh salmon is naturally sweet and creamy, and it doesn’t need to be drowned out with super sauces and zippy spices. Salmon is also Joshua’s favorite fish, so I try to buy it locally and cook it when we can afford it and when it’s in season. The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish, like salmon, for the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce your risk of heart arrhythmia, decrease your triglycerides, and slow the buildup of plaque.

Since Joshua is on a gluten-free diet, I choose side dishes that are naturally gluten free, like red potatoes. Since the dish itself is rich, I wanted the vegetables to be simple and delicious on their own. You can choose a different side dish for your special dinner. This dish serves 2, so it’s perfect for the upcoming Valentine’s Day dinner.

1 pound salmon filet, cleaned of bones, rinsed, and patted dry
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons clover honey
1 tablespoon, divided Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon Black Pepper, freshly ground
6 small red potatoes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium beefsteak tomato
4 fresh basil leaves
2 ounces mozzarella, sliced thinly

1. Clean the salmon filet thoroughly. Rub your fingers along the fish and check for fine bones. Even though the fish has been prepared, check to make sure the side bones are removed. Use clean tweezers and remove the bones you find. Rinse the filet and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper (approx 1/2 teaspoon each).

2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small nonstick saucepan, pour the balsamic vinegar. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes, but be careful not to let it boil or splatter all over. The balsamic vinegar with start to evaporate and thicken just slightly.

3. Meanwhile, slice the potatoes into large chunks. Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with the Kosher salt, smoked paprika, and ground pepper. Pour potatoes into a stoneware baking sheet or sheet pan. Place the pan in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. At the halfway point, stir the potatoes, and turn them, so the other sides can also get browned.

4. While the potatoes are roasting, preheat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. When the pan is extremely hot, pour in 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Carefully slide the seasoned salmon into the pan – skin side up, being careful not to splash hot oil on yourself. Cover immediately with a splatter guard. Let fry for 3-5 minutes without touching it. You are creating a crispy crust for the salmon.

5. While the salmon is searing, add the honey to the balsamic vinegar and stir. Return to the heat and let simmer for about 3 more minutes.

6. Once the salmon has seared on the top side, carefully flip the salmon over and place the splatter guard back on top. Sear this side for another 5 minutes, or until the salmon is cooked through to 135-145 degrees.

7. Slice the beefsteak tomato. Then lay out on a serving plate and sprinkle lightly with salt. Top with the slices of cheese. Stack the basil leaves on each other and then roll up. Slice the basil leaves into the thin threads. Sprinkle overtop the tomato and cheese slices. Refrigerate until ready to use.

8. Remove the potatoes from the oven. Remove the salmon from the pan and place on a separate plate to cool briefly.

9. Divide salmon and potatoes onto plates. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the salmon, and pour any leftovers into a small dipping bowl for diners to add more as desired. Serve with caprese salad on the side.

Resource: American Heart Association