Crispy Skin Salmon & Orzo with Lemon-Caper Sauce

Crispy Skin Salmon & Orzo

with Lemon-Caper Sauce

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This bright, flavorful dish features flaky, crispy skin salmon served over a bed of tender orzo—tossed with sautéed vegetables and a rich, tangy sauce made from butter, lemon, and briny capers.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    710 Cals (est.)
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ingredients
Crispy Skin Salmon & Orzo with Lemon-Caper Sauce
Title
  • 2 Skin-On Salmon Fillets
  • 4 oz Orzo Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp Capers
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 oz Salted Butter
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp Weeknight Hero Spice Blend (Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Smoked Paprika & Whole Dried Parsley)
  • 1 Bell Pepper
Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the zucchini. Cut off and discard the stem of the pepper. Quarter lengthwise; remove the ribs and seeds, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Roughly chop the capers. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

Cook the pasta
2 Cook the pasta

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the vegetables
3 Cook the vegetables

Meanwhile, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced pepper and chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a plate. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the fish
4 Cook the fish

Pat the fish dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Season only on the skinless side with enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned fish, skin side down. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until the skin is browned and crispy. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.* Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 145°F for fish.

Make the sauce
5 Make the sauce

To the pan of reserved fond, add the butter, chopped capers, and the juice of 2 lemon wedges (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly and scraping up any fond, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and the butter is melted. Turn off the heat.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish
6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked vegetables and half the sauce; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the cooked fish with the finished pasta. Top the fish with the remaining sauce. Serve the remaining lemon wedges on the side, if you'd like. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients
1 Prepare the ingredients

Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Medium dice the zucchini. Cut off and discard the stem of the pepper. Quarter lengthwise; remove the ribs and seeds, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Roughly chop the capers. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

2 Cook the pasta

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Cook the pasta
Cook the vegetables
3 Cook the vegetables

Meanwhile, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the diced zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced pepper and chopped garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Transfer to a plate. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan.

4 Cook the fish

Pat the fish dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. Season only on the skinless side with enough of the spice blend to coat (you may have extra). In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned fish, skin side down. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until the skin is browned and crispy. Flip and cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through.* Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

*The USDA recommends a minimum safe cooking temperature of 145°F for fish.

Cook the fish
Make the sauce
5 Make the sauce

To the pan of reserved fond, add the butter, chopped capers, and the juice of 2 lemon wedges (carefully, as the liquid may splatter). Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly and scraping up any fond, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined and the butter is melted. Turn off the heat.

6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked vegetables and half the sauce; stir to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the cooked fish with the finished pasta. Top the fish with the remaining sauce. Serve the remaining lemon wedges on the side, if you'd like. Enjoy!

Finish the pasta & serve your dish
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