Category Archives: Salad

Salmon Summer Fruit Salad. REALLY Tasty!

A big THANK YOU to Marcia Calvin, one of my fellow members of the Wakefield Unitarian Universalist Church, for bringing this lovely salad to our church potluck picnic last Sunday!

I love potlucks. They provide a wonderful opportunity to try new dishes and enjoy old favorites such as Mary Adele Taylor’s deviled eggs. Yum! 🙂

The only drawback is that, with so many different items, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to really appreciate a unique dish, such as this interesting combination of fruit and fish, at a potluck. Also, Marcia had thoughtfully provided the dressing on the side for those who may want to save some calories and I forgot to add the dressing when I tried the salad. But, I was very intrigued and wanted the whole experience, so I asked for the recipe.

I am thinking Marcia should do a cooking blog, too. Along with the recipe, she provided detailed notes and also included what looks to be a a great recipe for baked fish. I’ll have to try that one soon!

The ingredients gathered

So, here is the recipe, noting a few options beyond the recipe that Marcia shared with me:

Salmon Summer Fruit Salad

Dressing:
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
5 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil (one version calls for just 1 tablespoon)
2 tablespoons pecans (walnuts work fine) OR
1 tablespoon honey (one version has honey instead of nuts)
1/2  teaspoon lemon juice, or more, to taste

Salad:
3 cups torn leaf lettuce
2 cups torn Bibb lettuce (I used mostly  romaine and some of whatever type is in my garden)
1 (7.5-oz.) can pink salmon, drained, skin and bones removed – or buy fresh and cook it yourself.
2 medium nectarines, sliced (or equivalent of chunks of orange)
1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Directions:
1. In small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients; beat with wire whisk until blended.

Or:

Use a small food processor and pulse to mince the shallot and green herbs first, then add the nuts and pulse to coarsely chop, then add the vinegar, oil, and lemon juice (and honey if using instead or in addition to nuts) and pulse just until blended.

2. In large bowl, combine all salad ingredients except raspberries. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Gently fold in raspberries.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve on individual salad plates or in Tortilla Salad Shells.

Tip: The dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for several hours or overnight.

1/4 cup or so chopped shallot. This shows a scant 1/3 cup.

This makes about one tablespoon, chopped.

I made the salad a few hours before heading out to a Linden Tree Coffeehouse* volunteer appreciation party on June 18 and decided to bring it with me to get additional opinions beyond Steve’s and mine.  WELL!!!!  It was a resounding success!  So much so that Steve didn’t get a chance to try it that evening. So, I made it again the next day.

Upon arriving home with more raspberries and salmon, I realized that I had forgotten nectarines, although, the chances of getting ripe ones were small anyway.  In fact, after receiving the recipe and purchasing the ingredients mid week,  it was not until Friday that the nectarines were ripe enough to use.

So, there I was, and I didn’t want to got back to the store again, anyway.  But, since the dressing contains lemon juice, I suspected that one could substitute with an orange.  Just to make sure, I searched online for recipes with salmon and orange.  That’s when I found on very similar to the recipe Marcia sent me that had honey instead of nuts in the dressing, either one a thickening source, I am guessing.  Just use honey if you want it more sweet or don’t have pecans or walnuts on hand.

The Dressing - with nuts, not honey

And, speaking of substitutes, online research told me that walnuts are a good substitute for pecans, so, since walnuts were what I had, that is what I used.  And, I suppose you could use onion instead of shallot, but I wouldn’t recommend it unless you used Vidalia or other sweet type of onion.  But, frankly, I am a huge fan of shallots and always make sure to have plenty on hand.

Bottom line is that this salad is excellent with either nectarines or fresh chunks of orange.  I saw recipes with salmon, that call for canned manderin orange pieces, also, so that would be another option.

pre - dressing

Nectarine version - with dressing

with chunks of orange, dressed

A few more notes:  I used mostly romaine lettuce, because that is what I had in my fridge.  I did supplement it with greens from my box garden, though.

Some kind of lettuce and arugula

I am pretty amazed by how prolific this lettuce is.  I picked 7 or eight leaves total two days in a row and it seems to grow back overnight.  Now I need to really leave it alone so it has a chance to really get going!

And, the final note:  Rather than used canned salmon, Marcia bought fresh salmon and cooked it herself, which was an excellent touch to her version.  And, I’d recommend doing that if you have the time and can find some good fresh salmon.  But, I do think, flavor-wise, the canned works quite well, since there are so many other flavors going on in this dish.

But, whatever you do, I recommend trying this recipe.  It is especially good for potlucks because, along with tasting great, the unexpected mix of ingredients is a great conversation starter.

* Along with a fun jam session later in the evening at the Linden Tree Coffeehouse party, we were treated to excellent music by Gail Rundlett and her son Julian. Gail really liked the salad, by the way.  🙂

Quick and Easy Pesto Pasta Salad

I can’t do my usual Saturday morning Famer’s Market “shop and socialize” thing this morning because I have a Board Retreat to attend.  Luckily, it is minutes from the market, so I am hoping to leave early, toting my potluck lunch item (you guessed, it, Pesto Pasta Salad) and grab at least some corn and potatoes before going to the meeting.

So, until I find time to post about the meal I made and documented last night, (using leftover grilled London Broil for pepper, onion, and cheese steak subs) this will be my weekend cooking post.

Bow Ties with Pesto, Feta and Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy Dave Lieberman via FoodNetwork.com with some of my notes added

*  1 pound bow tie pasta (farfalle)  (I used a 14.5 ox of Barilla Plus)
* 3/4 cup Pesto (see my pesto post)
* 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
* 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* Olive oil, as needed

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Stir in the bow ties and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and run it under cold water just until it stops steaming. Bounce the pasta around to get rid of as much water as you can.

Dump the pasta into a large serving bowl. Stir in the pesto until the pasta is coated. Toss in the cherry tomatoes and the crumbled feta. Taste the salad and season it as you like with salt and pepper. You can make the salad up to about 1 hour before you serve it. Check out the salt and pepper just before you serve the salad. If it’s looking a little dry, add some olive oil and stir it around.

And, voila!

Pesto salad aug 8

Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Feta

I have not actually tried it yet and, since the recipe says to serve within an hour of serving, I am not sure how it will be after being chilled during the morning part of our meeting.  Well, only one way to find out.  I’ll update this post about it later.