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Easy dinner recipes: Three delicious dishes for salmon lovers

Fan of salmon? It's a popular fish, and it works well in so many dishes. Best of all? It cooks quickly. Whether you love it roasted, steamed, or thinly sliced to top a pizza, we have three mouth-watering recipes that come together in an hour or less.

Roasted salmon with red pepper hazelnut pesto: Roasted red peppers are a perfect smoky base for this rustic sauce, brightened with a little lemon and dotted with fresh chopped chives. But it's the toasted hazelnuts that take this pesto to another level. Enticingly fragrant, they lend a wonderfully rich depth to the finished sauce. We loved this pesto served over roasted salmon, though it would pair equally well with other fish, poultry or roasted vegetables.

Smoked salmon pizza: Top a prepared pizza crust with a little sour cream and smoked salmon, along with chopped red onion, fresh dill and capers. It takes all of 15 minutes to whip up.

QUICK & EASY: Terrific recipes in under an hour

In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/03/test-kitchen-tips-homemade-tofu.html#sthash.6Tjk9w9Z.dpu

In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/03/test-kitchen-tips-homemade-tofu.html#sthash.6Tjk9w9Z.dpuf

In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/03/test-kitchen-tips-homemade-tofu.html#sthash.6Tjk9w9Z.dpu

In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/03/test-kitchen-tips-homemade-tofu.html#sthash.6Tjk9w9Z.dpuf

In 2009, Food did a story on fresh tofu in Southern California. We included a recipe for fresh, homemade tofu -- very light in flavor, this delicate tofu is almost like a custard with its creamy texture.

The method is simple: Combine some cold soy milk with nigari water (a brine used to set the soy milk) and steam the milk until it sets up like a custard. The whole process takes about 15 minutes.

- See more at: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/dailydish/2012/03/test-kitchen-tips-homemade-tofu.html#sthash.6Tjk9w9Z.dpu

Oven-steamed salmon with dill mayonnaise: If you're looking for easy, it doesn't get much better than oven-steamed salmon, according to Food editor Parsons. With his recipe, you simply steam salmon on a baking sheet in a 250-degree oven over a baking pan filled with boiling water. The salmon is ready in about 20 minutes, when the fish just begins to flake. While it's cooking, whisk together a quick dill mayonnaise (mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, fresh chopped dill and shallots and a little lemon juice), and you're good to go. Simple, right?

You can find all three recipes below.

And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

RECIPES: 99 easy dinner ideas in about an hour or less

THYME CAFE AND MARKET'S ROASTED SALMON WITH RED PEPPER HAZELNUT PESTO

Total time: 1 hour

Servings: 4

Note: Adapted from Thyme Café & Market

3 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded (about 2 cups)

2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped, more to taste

Zest and juice of 1 lemon, or to taste

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt, more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil, more or less to taste, plus more for drizzling over the salmon

1/4 to 1/3 cup chopped chives

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

1. In a blender, combine the bell peppers, hazelnuts, garlic, lemon zest and juice, cider vinegar, one-fourth teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper. Pulse to combine. With the blender running, drizzle in the olive oil to emulsify and form the pesto. Taste, adjusting seasoning and flavoring as desired, and adjusting the thickness of the pesto with additional olive oil. This makes a generous 2 cups pesto, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; any leftover pesto can be covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.

2. Remove the pesto to a bowl and stir in the chopped chives.

3. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

4. Place the salmon fillets on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and drizzle the top of each fillet with a little oil. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper over each fillet.

5. Place the fillets in the oven and roast until the salmon is cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

6. Plate the salmon and drizzle a little pesto over each fillet. Serve immediately.

Each of 4 servings: 560 calories; 37 grams protein; 6 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 43 grams fat; 8 grams saturated fat; 94 mg cholesterol; 3 grams sugar; 321 mg sodium.

MORTON'S SMOKED SALMON PIZZA

Total time: 15 minutes

Servings: 6 to 8

Note: Adapted from Morton's Steakhouse

1 (12-inch) thin crust prepared pizza crust

1/4 cup sour cream

Scant 3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh dill

5 ounces smoked salmon, very thinly sliced

1 tablespoon drained capers

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Place the prepared crust directly on the oven rack and heat until the crust is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the warmed crust to a cutting board.

2. Spread the sour cream over the crust, leaving a one-half-inch border. Sprinkle about half of the red onion over the sour cream and sprinkle half of the dill over the onion.

3. Lay the salmon slices over the pizza to cover the sour cream, onion and dill. Sprinkle the remaining onion and dill over the salmon, then scatter the capers over them. Cut the pizza into wedges and serve at once.

Each of 8 servings: 171 calories; 7 grams protein; 26 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 4 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 11 mg cholesterol; 4 grams sugar; 511 mg sodium.

OVEN-STEAMED SALMON WITH DILL MAYONNAISE

Total time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6 to 8

1 (1½- to 2-pound) salmon filet, in 1 piece

Salt

Oil

1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon minced shallots

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup minced fresh dill

1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice

1. Heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the salmon, meat side up, on a cutting board and feel along the surface of the flesh with your fingertips just above and below the midline. If you feel pin bones, pluck them out with tweezers or needle-nose pliers. Season the salmon with one-half teaspoon salt, or to taste, and place on a jellyroll pan lined with lightly oiled aluminum foil.

2. When the oven is ready, place a baking pan on the floor of the oven and fill it with boiling water. Place the pan with the salmon on the rack. Cook until a paring knife or toothpick penetrates the flesh easily, 20 to 25 minutes. Note that the flesh will be somewhat denser than usual and that it won't change color as much as with other cooking methods.

3. While the salmon is cooking, prepare the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, shallots, mustard and dill in a food processor or blender or use a mortar and pestle and puree until fairly smooth. There should still be some dots of herbs visible. Add lemon juice and puree again. Taste, correct seasoning and set aside.

4. When the salmon is done cooking, there will probably be some white collagen collected on the surface. Moisten a pastry brush with oil and lightly brush it away.

6. Serve the salmon on a large platter with a bit of the mayonnaise spooned to one side. Serve the remainder of the mayonnaise in a bowl to pass. Tell your guests to scoop up the salmon with a spoon, leaving the skin behind.

Each of 8 servings: 407 calories; 21 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 35 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 71 mg cholesterol; 0 sugar; 406 mg sodium.  

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