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31Aug
2015
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Seared Salmon and Panzanella: A New Way to Cook

Even those of us who love to cook can be daunted by coming up with a new, interesting dish every night after a long day at work—and then shopping for ingredients. When do you fit in the grocery store before dinner? Am I buying too many tomatoes, or too few? I only need six leaves of basil; will the rest of this bunch go bad? There’s a reason it’s so easy to throw in the towel and call for delivery.

That’s the brilliance of Blue Apron, which delivers everything you need to make inventive, home-cooked meals—with natural, unprocessed, pre-portioned ingredients and nothing pre-cooked. (And since the boxes are refrigerated, you don’t need to worry about spoilage.) Give it a try today, Blue Apron is offering the first 100 Serious Eats readers two free meals.

When we took it for a test drive, we found that the chef-designed recipes were super-straightforward, start to finish about 30 to 40 minutes; that all the ingredients were correctly proportioned, taking measuring (and quandaries about leftovers) out of the equation; and that every meal we tried was original and fully flavored, helping us feel pretty darn accomplished. (And happy we didn’t order takeout.)

Take the seared salmon and panzanella with corn, shishito peppers, and Thai basil. The recipes, smartly, recommend you do all your slicing and dicing first—setting up your mise en place so that everything’s in place as you begin cooking.

So start by washing and drying the veggies; stripping the corn from the cob; chopping up tomatoes, cucumber, olives, and shishito peppers; peeling the garlic; and slicing the shallots and letting them marinate in the provided vinegar.

Next, make the garlic croutons for the panzanella. Drizzle the bread in olive oil and season with salt and pepper (oil, salt and pepper are the only ingredients Blue Apron assumes you have on-hand). Toast the bread in the oven for about 10 minutes, until it’s crisp. Then take it out, and once it’s cool enough to touch, rub the garlic cloves all over it. Dice up your garlic bread.

In a pan with olive oil, brown the corn kernels on high heat until they’re softened. Remove from the pan.

In the same pan (it’s nice that Blue Apron has a tendency toward one-pan dishes), add a bit more olive oil and cook the shishito peppers until they’ve got some browning.

Almost done! Pat your salmon dry, and season with salt and pepper.

Then heat up more olive oil in that same pan, and add your salmon skin side-down.

After a few minutes, flip the salmon.

Toss all the ingredients of your panzanella together, along with a little olive oil, which comes together with the red wine vinegar as your dressing…

… and then plate it along with the salmon. It’s a fresh, summery meal that feels unique thanks to the inclusion of the shishito peppers and Thai basil. (While those aren’t the world’s most unusual ingredients, they’re also not at every grocery store; tracking them down would’ve taken a little work, without Blue Apron.) All the ingredients worked out in perfect proportion—the salad didn’t have too many croutons, or too much tomato—and it was just enough food for two hungry people.

Our only question: When does our next box show up?