This dish answers the question of how to transform humble ingredients into something not at all boring.
I cook a lot of chicken, beans and fish on weeknights, for the same reasons a lot of busy people do: They’re fast and rich in protein. The challenge is transforming these humble yet mighty ingredients into something not at all boring, week after week. That’s when my pantry comes into play. A few boldly flavored staples, combined in the right way, have the power to change everything.
Most people don’t think of miso paste and maple syrup as a flavor combination that works well, but they should. It’s salty, sweet and earthy, with umami that makes everything bold. In this recipe, I whisk the two together with tangy rice wine vinegar, garlic and soy sauce to make a brightly flavored marinade for rich and fatty salmon, a dish that’s elegant enough for entertaining but fast enough to make anytime.
The fish marinates as the oven heats up, which makes it a brilliant weeknight move. Ten minutes is plenty of time for the salmon to absorb the flavors, but if you would prefer to let yours hang out a bit longer, you can — just be sure to pull it at an hour. Any longer and the acidity in the vinegar will start to break down the delicate texture of the fish, and you don’t want that.
Vibrant green beans, tossed with a bit of sesame oil and chile flakes, are cooked on the same pan, providing a pop of color and a built-in side dish. (It also means you spend less time cleaning up.) A showering of chopped cilantro and a good squeeze of lime brings all the flavors together while also making it easy on the eyes.
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Start some rice when you walk in the door, and you’ll have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes without even breaking a sweat. Sit down, put your feet up and open that wine. Elegance is effortless, see?
Maple and Miso Sheet-Pan Salmon With Green Beans
Makes 4 servings
Total time: 20 minutes
4 (6-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon white or brown miso
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, grated
1 pound green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of red-pepper flakes (optional)
¼ teaspoon toasted sesame oil (optional)
¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro, both leaves and tender stems
4 lime wedges, for serving
Flaky sea salt, for serving (optional)
Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Season the salmon fillets well with salt and pepper, and place them on a plate or in a large shallow bowl.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, miso, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and garlic. Pour the mixture on top of the salmon and gently massage the marinade all over the fish. Let marinate while the oven comes to temperature.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss together the green beans with the olive oil, red-pepper flakes and sesame oil (if using) and season generously with salt and pepper. Lay the salmon fillets on the sheet pan skin side down and spread the green beans out surrounding the fillets.
4. Arrange the salmon skin side down on the sheet pan and bake until the salmon is opaque and the green beans are cooked through, about 12 minutes. Right before serving, scatter with cilantro and a good squeeze of lime. Season with flaky sea salt and serve with rice, if desired.