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Tribal Salmon-Romesco Sandwiches

Salmon-Romesco Sandwiches

Restaurants are having a tough time in this age of stay-at-home. So, to help with overhead a lot of restaurants are doubling up on their services by providing not only take-out prepared food but “groceries” for their customers as well. A sort of neighborhood larder where you can get restaurant-quality ingredients for your at-home quarantined kitchen. That’s how I ended up with a nice piece of fresh fish for these Salmon-Romesco Sandwiches.

I’ll admit for the first month of this thing I felt that safer at home meant it was safer to cook at home too. Every day. Every single meal. In other words – no take-out and no delivery.

Intellectually I understand that restaurants need my business and I certainly hope that take-out food will mean that many of my neighborhood favorites will be able to come out on the other side of these closures with healthy businesses.

Still, I have a nearing 90, extremely frail member of my household. Caution seems the best path forward and that’s the path we’ve tried to follow.

So for the last however many weeks, I’ve prioritized safety over any sort of convenience.

Until one day I woke up and just felt differently about the situation. Because the thing is as a caregiver it’s so easy (too easy) to set your own needs aside for the person you are caring for.

My Caregiver Tribe

Roughly 40 million Americans were providing unpaid eldercare before the coronavirus pandemic. The number could be higher now. I’ve decided there’s no need to go through it alone. I’ve found some solace and some focus from a Facebook group that’s populated by a tribe of folks in a similar situation as me. Reading their posts and feeling our commonality has helped me think differently about take-out (amongst other things).

Salmon-Romesco Sandwiches

You won’t see me screaming in a police officer’s face or declaring my rights to be more important than your health. I’ll still wear a mask (and sometimes gloves). However, I finally got brave enough to purchase the salmon for these sandwiches (along with the baguette and an excellent take-out burger) from Papilles – a local bistro. However, my first thoughts were not about sharing the experience with my caregiver tribe… and that surprised me.

There’s still only one tribe who can understand that this sandwich is more than a sandwich… and that’s my blog tribe. These Salmon Sandwiches with Zucchini and Romesco Sauce are for you (and me). GREG

Salmon Sandwiches with Zucchini and Romesco Sauce

Salmon Sandwiches with Zucchini and Romesco Sauce

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 2 sandwichesPublished
Salmon Sandwiches with Zucchini and Romesco Sauce

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup chopped roasted red bell peppers (from a jar)
  • ¼ cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoon chopped roasted almonds
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt and cracked black pepper (as needed)
  • 2–3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (divided, plus more for grill-pan)
  • 1 medium zucchini (trimmed to 6 inches and sliced lengthwise into four ½‑inch thick strips)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (5 to 6 oz) skinless salmon fillet
  • 1 (12-inch) section of toasted baguette

Directions

Preheat the oven to 250°F.

Make the romesco sauce: Process peppers, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, vinegar, paprika, and a big pinch each of salt and black pepper in a food processor or blender until chunky. With the machine running slowly drizzle in 1 to 2 tablespoon olive oil until the mixture is smooth and spreadable; set aside.

Grill the zucchini slices: Preheat grill-pan over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, toss the zucchini slices with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper.

Once the grill-pan is hot, carefully use tongs to rub an oil-soaked paper towel over grates. Lay the zucchini slices across the grill-pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Flip and continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove the grill-pan from the heat. You can leave the zucchini on the grill-pan to stay warm until needed.

Prepare the salmon: Slice the salmon fillets lengthwise in half creating two thin fillets roughly the same size.

Lay the salmon fillets at least 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet and season them with salt.

Once the oven is heated brush the fillets with some of the romesco sauce on both sides and place the fillets in the oven on the center rack to cook until the salmon is cooked almost all through at the thickest point, about 14 minutes. You’ll know it’s finished when a fork inserted in the thickest part of the fish meets with no resistance and the flesh is just beginning to flake when you poke into it. An instant-read thermometer should read no more 120° F. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil to rest while you proceed.

Make the sandwiches: Cut the baguette section in half crosswise into two 6‑inch sections and then slice each 6‑inch section in half lengthwise. Lay them sliced side up on a work surface. Lay 2 slices of grilled zucchini on the bottom piece of each of the bottom sections of the baguette. Top each with a slice of salmon. Slather each of the top halves with romesco sauce then lay them sandwich-style on top of the salmon. Serve immediately.