Making the most of their locations, restaurants along the Gulf Coast offer the very freshest fish they can and spice it up with elaborate preparations or just a simple slice of lemon.

FISH TALESIn an effort to get more Omega-3 in my diet, I made a resolution to eat more salmon. I usually only like it raw, as in sushi, but I eventually ventured out and discovered the salmon panini at Slice. It is divine and I have actually begun to crave it. However, my kids won’t even try it, so I decided to try making something with salmon at home. I used this recipe, which is easy and versatile—enough so that I bet you’ll find yourself sneaking more salmon into your diet. I continued on my heart-healthy way with a salad of Garbanzo beans and watercress, but you could also serve this dish with couscous or yellow rice.


Fresh Salmon (cooked in a foil packet)
1 large filet fresh salmon (about 1 pound)
1/2 box cherry tomatoes (or two large Creole tomatoes cut up)
2 to 3 cloves garlic, sliced paper thin
4 basil leaves, shredded
1 to 2 tblsp. olive oil
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place salmon skin side down in the foil with all of the ingredients. Fold foil packet along edges to seal in juices. Bake for about 15 minutes for a medium temperature for the salmon, which is how it tastes best. The tomatoes and garlic should be soft, but if they are not, simply remove the fish, fold the packet back up and cook them a bit longer.

Other delicious variations:

Lemon, dill and capers
Fennel, garlic and butter
Kalamata olives and red peppers
Red onions and capers

FISH TALESRed, Ripe and Delicious
It’s Creole tomato time and in case you don’t keep up with health news, tomatoes are a wonderful source of Lycopene, an antioxident that helps fight cancer and other diseases. Having grown up on a farm with a large vegetable garden, I am very picky about tomatoes and didn’t readily buy into the Creole tomato cult. But after 20 years in Louisiana, I am a firm believer in this wonderful variety. It’s important to note a few key points to ensure that you pick the best of the crop.

•    I like to get them when they are still a bit green and watch them ripen slowly on a kitchen window. I think they are best one to two days after they are fully red.
•    Go for the misshapen ones. For some reason I think they taste best.
•    Finally, the best way to enjoy a Creole tomato is to slice it, then add a tiny bit of salt and some homemade mayonnaise.

Don’t Miss!

The Creole Tomato Festival is June 9 and 10, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the French Quarter’s Dutch Alley. Featuring the state’s famous Creole tomatoes, the event will showcase dishes from local chefs using this delicacy and music.

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