Dinner Tonight: Miso-Glazed Salmon + Butternut Squash

Thoughts are turned toward every devoted home cook's favorite holiday: Thanksgiving. Fluffy pillows of mashed potatoes (or will they be roasted this year?), creamed vegetables, and a butter-basted bird (or deep fried?) -- so much to decide, so much to plot, test, and plan.

As the first pangs of hunger for that glorious feast begin to settle in, so too does a longing for some preemptive super-healthy meals. Sonali's umami-filled Miso and Agave Glazed Salmon and thirschfeld's brilliant Red Cooked Squash together make a perfect pre-holiday meal, the kind you'll want to eat every night until the big day to fortify yourself for the inevitable onslaught of cream and butter that await.

As always, this meal comes together quickly and without fuss -- perfect for a weeknight, but dressy enough for company.

The Menu

Miso and Agave Glazed Salmon by Sonali aka the Foodie Physician

This recipe serves 4

1/2 cup light (shiro) miso
5 tablespoons sake
5 tablespoons mirin
2 1/2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 tablespoon light agave nectar
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 skinless, boneless salmon fillets

1. Whisk the miso, sake, mirin, ginger, agave nectar, and oil together in a large, non-reactive dish or bowl. Add the salmon and coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least a few hours, ideally overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Turn on the broiler. Place one oven rack under the broiler and another rack in the center of the oven.

3. Wipe any excess marinade off the salmon fillets and place them in a baking dish. Place the dish on the top rack under the broiler and cook until the top of the fish is nicely browned, 3-4 minutes. Then move the dish to the center rack and bake until the salmon is cooked to desired doneness, about 8-12 minutes. Serve warm.

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Red Cooked Butternut Squash

Get the recipe.

The Grocery List

Serves 4

2 butternut squash
2 cups beef broth
Red miso and light miso (red for the squash, light for the salmon -- or just pick one kind!)
1 Fuji apple
2 small red chiles
cilantro, and sesame seeds for garnish
Fresh ginger
4 skinless salmon fillets

We assume you have garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce, and vegetable oil -- if not, pick those up too!

The Plan

1. The salmon needs time in its miso marinade, so prepare that first and let it sit marinating on the counter while you cook the squash.

2. Peel and slice your squash. Prep its braising liquid, and let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

3. About 20 minutes into the butternut's cooking time, pop the fish into the oven for a quick broil and bake.

4. Serve! Feel yourself getting healthier with every bite. (Oh, and enjoy it, too!)