A few blocks from where I live in Long Beach, Calif., there’s Mediterranean restaurant named Panini Kabob Grill. For months I was waiting for it to open and then finally, in the midst of the pandemic, it opened with a modified menu. The menu offerings are classic Mediterranean: salmon, chicken or steak (grilled in Kabob-like portions) with rice, hummus, salad, and soup. My absolute favorite option was the grilled salmon with brown basmati rice. It came with steamed broccoli and grilled tomato and onion quarters as well as a small portion of hummus and some pita bread. A side salad accompanied the main meal. It was so much food I could make it into two meals.
In my new neighborhood in the Pacific Northwest, I don’t have any Mediterranean restaurants within walking distance. In fact, Panini Kabob Grill isn’t up here at all, which means that if I want my favorite meal from PKG, I have to make it myself. The good news is, that’s very easy to do with either your oven or a grill.
First thing’s first: decide if you want brown or white basmati rice. I prefer brown. I feel like it tastes nuttier. You also want to make sure you have some delicious hummus on hand. While you can certainly buy hummus, I think it’s best to make it yourself. I love hummus so much, I typically like to have homemade hummus on hand. I had just made some lemony hummus when I decided to recreate this dish.
The biggest mystery to me was how in the world I was going to get salmon medallions similar to the ones served at PKG. To accomplish the same result, I cut a piece of salmon into smaller squares. If that’s not how PKG does it, my way perfectly replicates the look I was going for.
Lastly, I made sure to exactly include the veggies I’m used to getting at PKG: tomato, onion and broccoli. I added avocado because I had some on hand and it seems like you can add avocado to almost every savory dish and make it better.
This bowl is chock-full of healthy goodness. Protein, gluten-free carbohydrates, plenty of good fat between the salmon, avocado and olive oil and freshly cooked veggies. I like to eat this the ingredients in this bowl a certain way. I prefer salmon, rice and hummus in each bite, if possible, and then I rotate the veggie type with each bite. Onion is my favorite of the trio. Another good way to eat this dish is to mix everything together.
My favorite protein to add to this bowl is salmon, but I’ve also had it with grilled chicken and grilled steak. Both were equally as fabulous. I roasted my veggies and salmon in the oven because I don’t have a grill at my house in the Pacific Northwest, but you can just as easily grill the veggies and the salmon.
The ingredients list below is for one bowl. If serving a crowd, multiply appropriately by the number of guests.
- 4 to 6 oz salmon, cut into smaller squares (aim for 5 or 6 pieces of salmon)
- ½ to 1 c. cooked basmati rice
- 2 T. hummus
- 1 tomato, quartered
- ½ white onion, quartered
- 3 pieces of broccoli or broccolini, steamed
- ½ avocado, sliced (optional)
- olive oil for drizzling
- Get your rice cooking. Cook according to rice cooker or package directions.
- Meanwhile, get prepared to roast or grill your veggies. I roasted my onions and tomato at the same time but then the tomato turned out mushy because it didn’t need as long. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Toss onion quarters in some olive oil and put on a baking sheet. (I lined mine with silpat.) Roast for 20 to 30 minutes or until onions have started to brown on the edges.
- Toss the tomato quarters in some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes (cut-side up) to the onions in the baking dish about halfway through. The tomatoes should only take about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile steam the broccoli. Place 3/4 to 1 inch of water in a saucepan with a steamer and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli to the steamer and cover; reduce heat to medium and let cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until you can pierce with a fork. Remove from steam immediately when the broccoli is done and place on a plate until ready to assemble the bowl.
- Add the salmon to the onions and tomato for about the last 5 or 6 minutes of roasting.
- To assemble: in a large cereal bowl add the rice, salmon, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, avocado slices (if using), and hummus. Drizzle the hummus with some olive oil. Or drizzle a little olive oil over the entire bowl of ingredients.