Thwarted by last weekend’s nor’ easter, we rescheduled our journey to visit our first (!) niece, Julia, in Chicago just in time for her 1 month birthday. The giddy anticipation of greeting a brand, new family member as she embarks on the wings of life is tremendous! It is equally surreal to see your utterly goofy brother-in-law and stunning, sophisticated sister-in-law (both top notch lawyers taking Chicago by storm) slip into parenthood with the same goof and grace we admire. You don’t have to look closely to see they’ve acquired the priorities, consideration, care and unconditional love of parenthood, so naturally. It’s infectious.
Julia is bright and bold! She is squirming to explore, constantly pushing the boundaries of her age with a higher head lift, earnest coo and inquisitive gaze. Everyone wants to coddle and indulge her with love! There are few rules except explicit and undivided attention, cradling her head and keeping clean hands.
Christie and Mike’s home is filled with lotions and suds perfumed with Herbs de Provence, which is how the idea first glimmered in my mind for a wholesome, balanced dinner threaded together with Provençal sauce. What a beautifully, balanced dish for Julia’s first month milestone and our first gathering with a growing Frisch Family.
The sauce itself was inspired by Mushroom's Canada's Provençal Poached Salmon Dinner.
- 2 pounds Wild Alaskan Salmon filets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 4 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup pureed tomato sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons Herbs de Provence
- finely chopped parsley for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high.
- Add the onions and saute for about 1 minute, coating in olive oil.
- Add the mushrooms and stir with the onions. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer until the mushrooms release their natural juices and reduce to about half in size.
- Add the white wine, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence. Continue to simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.
- Spoon a thin layer of the sauce into the base of a large baking dish. Lay the salmon filets over the sauce in the dish, and coat the filets with the remaining sauce.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes for a rarer fish and 15 minutes for well done (remember, the fish will continue to cook a bit when it's been pulled out of the oven).
- Add a bright sprinkle of parsley to serve!
When buying tomato sauce, pick a BPA-free can or a Tetra Pak that contains ONE ingredient: tomatoes. My favorite brand (a staple in my Mamma's pantry) is Pomi.
You can make your own Herbs de Provence mix, which usually consists of lavender, rosemary, marjoram, savory, basil and thyme. However, you will almost always find a pre-made mix in the herb and spice section. Tis' simpler indeed!