Crispy Salmon, Fennel Slaw & White Wine

Salmon Fennel Slaw | Aprons & Stilettos

Spring is almost here which propelled me to think about the warm weather ahead, white wines and springtime dishes. As I was scrolling through my usual Instagram feed I came across Food & Wine Magazine’s white wine pairing recipe of the day and I knew exactly what I was going to draw inspiration from for tonight dinner. After work, I swung by Molsberry Market to pick up the essentials – Salmon Fillet, Fennel, Red Onion, Lemons and Dill. The weather today was absolutely perfect so when I got home I opened all of the windows, threw on the Bob Marley Pandora station, poured a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and began cookin’.

Veggies for Slaw

This recipe is extremely easy and only requires the below seven ingredients.

  • Two 6-ounce salmon fillets with skin
  • Kosher salt
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1/2 lemon)
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon dill, chopped
  • Olive oil

Crispy Salmon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the fennel, onions, dill, lemon juice and a tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and set aside. In an oven proof skillet (I used my cast iron) heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium / medium – high. Everyone’s stove is different so just make sure to watch the fish. Season the salmon with salt and place the fillet skin down in the skillet. Cook until the skin is crispy – about four minutes. Transfer the salmon to the oven and bake until cooked through, about  3-4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and serve with fennel slaw. Serve with a light-bodied white such as a Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris or Albariño. Some suggestions:

What are some of your favorite spring time wines? Share with us at @ApronsStilettos

Cheers ~ Crystal


Pearl Couscous With Dry Fruits, Nuts and a Citrus Vinaigrette

Pearl Couscous

As you know from my previous post, I LOVE couscous. What is couscous exactly? It’s a coarsely ground pasta made from semolina, a type of wheat. Why do I love it?  It’s versatile, healthy (loaded with protein, selenium and potassium)  and it’s quick to prepare.

Today’s recipe is a beautiful fusion of Israeli couscous (pearl couscous), dried fruits, fresh herbs, local  cheese and nuts inspired by friend and Executive Chef, Robin Lehnhoff-McCray.

This easy lunch or light dinner option pairs perfectly with a nice crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a warm afternoon on the patio.  Enjoy and cheers to the warmer days ahead!

  • 4 cups cooked Pearl Couscous
  • ¼ cup dry apricots, chopped
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup dry cranberries
  • ½ bunch fresh mint, chopped
  • ½ bunch Italian parsley, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup Valley Ford Estero Gold cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup toasted almonds
  • ¼ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • ¾ cup citrus vinaigrette (recipe below)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill for 1 hour then serve.

Serves 5

Citrus Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • ½ cup Meyer lemon juice
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine zest, mustard, juices, sugar and parsley. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (This recipe makes 1 ½ cups of vinaigrette. Save the remaining dressing and toss with fresh greens the next day!)

*Enjoy – Crystal

Herb Cocktails for Spring

Spring Cocktails

Spring is here and with an abundance of fresh herbs at our fingertips my neighbor and I decided to experiment with mint, basil, gin, ginger and freshly squeezed juices. Refreshing and perfect for the warm weather ahead!

Basil LeafHerb Limeade Basil LeafStrawberry BasilBasil Leaf Gin & Ginger

Herb Limeade

Herb Limeade

4 ½ ounces gin
3 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped
3 leaves fresh mint, roughly chopped
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ½ ounce honey, heated up (allow to slightly cool)
Splash of club soda
Lemon Sugar Rim

Place the herbs, gin and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add ice and honey and shake vigorously. Strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with lemon sugar. Float soda water and garnish with more mint leaves. Makes 2 cocktails

 Tip: to make sugar stick to the rim of your cocktail glass,  wipe rim with lime wedge. Also, we decided to warm the honey a bit, it allowed for better mixing.


Strawberry Basil

Strawberry Basil

3  ounces gin
1 ounce fresh lime juice 
½ ounce triple sec
1 – 3 strawberries
3 leaves mint and basil, roughly chopped.
Lemon sugar rim
Splash club soda

How to Make Strawberry Basil

Combine all ingredients except the club soda in a cocktail shaker. Muddle the strawberries and herbs together. Slice remaining strawberries and add to glass. Add ice and strain into a cocktail glass rimmed with lemon sugar. *Note: smaller pieces of herbs made its way into the cocktail so I ended up straining the leaves out after I took the photo above.

Gin & Ginger

Gin & Ginger

2 ounces gin
½ orange, juiced
½ ounce agave nectar
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
3 mint leaves, torn

Place all ingredients in a shaker with a handful of ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with orange slice and mint leaf.

~Cheers to tasty libations and the beautiful warm days ahead of us! Crystal

Which cocktails are you enjoying this spring?

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