The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 04.04.05


Springtime is salmon time

Is there a little more spring in your step lately? There is in mine.

This is the time of year when we toss off notions of wintry stews and soups and shift our focus to lighter fare.

Most people get a little panicky as they realize that swimsuit season is around the corner and adjust their eating habits accordingly.

We clean the barbecue and we buy greens and pastas for salads in anticipation of the first evening on the porch. The thing is, we are few good weeks short of the full Monty, of course.

Springtime cooking can be as tricky as the weather and you must be able to adapt. It is similar to what happens when you throw on a light jacket and head out for an early morning walk. Your optimism calls for spring fashion, yet the actual temperature says the opposite. You can become overheated at the mall in your winter attire or shivering to pieces on your way to the car, depending on your clothing choice of the day.

The same thing happens depending on what we eat. In the winter we need fuel to keep warm and despite temptation to eat on the light side in early spring we need to keep the stove hot for a few weeks yet.

However there are many ways to keep warm and eat light in hopes of trimming a few calories. Fish is always a good choice, as are pastas with very light sauces.

I'm providing a recipe here that does just that. It'll keep you toasty and carry you through the day as you dodge those puddles and poops.

Grilled sesame-crusted salmon steaks

Four salmon steaks (about one pound total weight), each about one inch thick
Two tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Two tablespoons sesame seeds

Brush the salmon steaks on both sides with two tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Press the two tablespoons of sesame seeds onto both sides of each fish steak.

Heat a large skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Add the fish steaks and cook for three to four minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Transfer to dinner plates.

Lemon mustard sauce

1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt
Three tablespoons Dijon mustard
Two to three teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon drained prepared horseradish
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

While the fish steaks are cooking, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small serving bowl. Place the bowl on the table. (Makes about one 1/4 cup.)