I came across this recipe years ago, and we love it. All of us. Even adventurous kids like it! It sounds really fancy, but it's easy to make. It's a very different pairing that the salmon "standard" sides. I tire easily of "standards." I usually serve it with some fresh Tuscan bread or brown rice, but it's fantastic alone as well.
adapted from Epicurious.com
1 t olive oil 2 t finely chopped fresh thyme ½ t salt
¼ t black pepper 1 ½ lb. red cabbage, cored, cut into 2 inch pieces, layers separated
½ lb. red onions, cut into 1 inch pieces, layers separated
2 T sugar 4 T water 2 T balsamic vinegar
¼ C finely chopped shallots 1 C beef broth 1 t olive oil
½ C Merlot or dry red wine 1 t cornstarch (slightly more if desired)
4 (5 oz.) skinned center-cut pieces of salmon fillet (about 1 ½ inches thick at the thickest part)
Make Cabbage: Heat oil in large non-stick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté cabbage, onions, thyme, salt, and pepper, stirring, for about 3 minutes. Cover skillet and reduce heat to med-high then cook, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender, about 20 minutes more.
Make Sauce: Bring sugar and 2 T water to a boil in a heavy saucepan, stirring until dissolved, then boil, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is a golden caramel, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add vinegar, then add shallot, and swirl pan over low heat until caramel is dissolved, about 1 min.
Stir in wine and boil until reduced to about ¼ C, about 5 minutes. Add beef broth and boil until reduced to about 1 C, about 8 minutes. Whisk together cornstarch and 2 T water, then whisk into sauce, and boil, whisking, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
Cook Salmon: Pat salmon dry. Season w/ salt & pepper. Heat oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet over med-high until hot but not smoking. Saute salmon 3 min. Turn over and sauté until just cooked through,a bout 3 min. Serve salmon over red cabbage, and top with sauce spooned over. (Each serving contains about 334 calories – makes 4 servings)