Succulent Baked Salmon

Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. And that means there are a lot of people who are hitting their cookbooks and the Internet in search of recipes that don’t include meat.

Topping a lot of lists is salmon, I’m sure. It’s one of the most popular foods that Catholics turn to in this season of fasting and abstaining. But salmon isn’t a favorite of just Catholics during Lent.

Here’s a recipe for salmon that looks tantalizing. There are many flavor combinations in this recipe from smoky to sweet to a little hot. The bacon mixture gives the salmon added crunch and flavor, although true salmon-lovers — and Catholics — will prefer their fish plain.

Succulent Baked Salmon
Olive oil
12-ounce salmon fillet, skin and any bones removed, cut into 2 equal pieces
Salt to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons hot and sweet mustard, or any favorite mustard
1 slice of bacon, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
2 shallots, peeled, chopped
Large pinch of dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Line a baking sheet with foil and brush it with olive oil. Place the salmon fillets on the baking sheet; sprinkle them with salt and spread the mustard over the top. Set the salmon aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, saute the bacon over medium heat until it’s golden. Add the shallots and garlic, mix well, cover and cook until the shallots and garlic have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the oregano and black pepper to taste.
Stir the shallot mixture and divide it between the salmon fillets, spreading it evenly over the top.
Bake the salmon for 15 to 20 minutes or until the fish just begins to flake easily when poked with a knife tip. Remove it from oven and serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 277 calories, 37 percent of calories from fat, 11 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 7 grams carbohydrate, 35 grams protein, 169 milligrams sodium, 95 milligrams cholesterol, 41 milligrams calcium, 1 gram fiber.