Lemon-Butter Salmon with Creamy Barley & Zucchini Salad

Lemon-Butter Salmon

with Creamy Barley & Zucchini Salad

30 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This recipe elevates delicious pan-seared salmon with a couple of simple touches. For perfect succulence, we’re lightly basting the fillets with butter, then finishing them with a splash of lemon juice. The result is an ideal match for our warm salad of chewy barley, tender zucchini and sweet, fresh dill—which also makes for a beautifully feathery garnish.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    795 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Cook & drain the spinach:
3 Cook & drain the spinach:

While the barley continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer the drained spinach to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the zucchini:
4 Cook the zucchini:

While the barley continues to cook, in the pan used to cook the spinach, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Transfer to a bowl. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the salmon:
5 Cook the salmon:

While the barley continues to cook, pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the pan used to cook the zucchini, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned fillets, skin sides down; cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Flip and add the butter; cook, occasionally spooning the butter over the fillets, 2 to 4 minutes, or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finish the salad & plate your dish:
6 Finish the salad & plate your dish:

While the salmon cooks, to the pot of cooked barley, add the sour cream, chopped spinach, cooked zucchini, half the dill and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished salad between 2 dishes. Top with the cooked salmon fillets and a few spoonfuls of the lemon-butter mixture from the pan. Garnish with the remaining dill. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Cook & drain the spinach:
3 Cook & drain the spinach:

While the barley continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the spinach has wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest the strainer over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down on the cooked spinach to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer the drained spinach to a cutting board and finely chop. Wipe out the pan.

4 Cook the zucchini:

While the barley continues to cook, in the pan used to cook the spinach, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Transfer to a bowl. Wipe out the pan.

Cook the zucchini:
Cook the salmon:
5 Cook the salmon:

While the barley continues to cook, pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the pan used to cook the zucchini, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned fillets, skin sides down; cook 3 to 5 minutes on the first side, or until browned. Flip and add the butter; cook, occasionally spooning the butter over the fillets, 2 to 4 minutes, or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Finish the salad & plate your dish:

While the salmon cooks, to the pot of cooked barley, add the sour cream, chopped spinach, cooked zucchini, half the dill and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to thoroughly combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished salad between 2 dishes. Top with the cooked salmon fillets and a few spoonfuls of the lemon-butter mixture from the pan. Garnish with the remaining dill. Enjoy!

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