Tuesday, June 5

Salmon, Red Potato and Asparagus Salad

Yesterday I mentioned that I could eat sandwiches everyday, and it's true, but salads come in a very close second. I am not a lover of the 'white' lettuce, but give me a bowl of romaine, spinach, arugula......really anything dark green topped with a little red cabbage, shredded carrots and a splash of aged Balsamic Vinegar and I am a happy woman! Mr.P and I were travelling through France
one year when I thought, 'I can not take anymore rich French Food'. I was craving salad in a bad way. Without really knowing what I was ordering I asked a waiter one night for a salad. This was no ordinary salad folks, it was like nothing I had ever
seen. I tell you the truth it was WEEDS! Seriously. It looked like they had just gone out back and  pulled up dandelions. This salad was prickly with that milky white goop coming from where the 'greens' had been cut. Now I know you are wondering, did this dippidy-do woman eat that salad. YES, I did! With the help of much Balsamic Vinegar I managed to get it all down. That is how much I was craving anything fresh and green on a plate. And as bad as I thought it was going to be it was not all that bad. I guess when you are craving something so badly you will make do with what you can get.

This salad is perfect for lunch or a light supper. It can be prepared quickly just before serving, or the salmon, potatoes, asparagus and the vinaigrette can be prepared up to 1 day ahead and refrigerated. Combine the salad with the vinaigrette just before serving. This is one of the most heart-healthy salads you will ever eat.
It also happens to be quite Delicious, ENJOY!
Salmon, Red Potato and Asparagus Salad

Salmon, Red Potato and Asparagus Salad

Ingredients:

1 lb. salmon fillet, skin removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lb. small, round red-skinned potatoes
3/4 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed
10 oz. mixed baby greens; about 8 cups loosely packed
3 green onions, white and light green portions, thinly sliced
 
For the vinaigrette:

4 dry-packed sun-dried tomato halves
Boiling water as needed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh dill
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

And here's what to do:

Prepare a hot fire in a grill and oil the rack, or preheat an oven to 400°F. I have prepared this both ways and the grill gives it more flavor but popping it in the oven is so much easier. 
Season the salmon with salt and pepper.

Grilling method:
Using tongs, place the salmon over the hottest part of the fire or directly over the heat elements and grill, turning once, until the salmon is opaque throughout when tested with a fork, about 4 minutes per side.

Roasting method: Place the salmon in a baking pan, transfer to the oven and roast until the salmon is opaque throughout when tested with a fork, 10 to 12 minutes.

Transfer the salmon to a plate and let cool to room temperature.

*If I am using the roasting method,
  slice the potatoes 1/2 inch thick, toss them with the asparagus and lightly coat everything with olive oil, salt, freshly cracked black pepper and throw them in the oven with the salmon. After taking the   
salmon out of the oven, I check the potatoes and asparagus. If the potatoes are not fork tender, I leave them in the oven 5-10 minutes longer. Let everything cool to room temperature.
This is my go-to method for this salad.

If I am using the grilling method,
place the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, cut into 1/2 inch slices. Set aside on a large plate to cool completely.

If the asparagus spears are thick, use a vegetable peeler or an asparagus peeler to pare away the tough outer skin of each spear to within about 2 inches of the tip. Cut the spears diagonally into 1-inch lengths. Place in a steamer rack over boiling water, cover the steamer and cook until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove the rack from the pan and rinse the asparagus under running cold water until cool. Pat dry and arrange next to the potatoes on the plate.

When the salmon is cool, cut it into 1-inch chunks and place the chunks alongside the potatoes and asparagus.

To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, dill, orange zest, garlic, salt and freshly cracked black pepper until blended.

In a large bowl, toss the salad greens with 2 Tbs. of the vinaigrette. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette over the asparagus, potatoes and salmon. Gently coat the ingredients evenly with the dressing. Arrange the greens on a large platter. Top with the asparagus, potatoes and salmon, and sprinkle with the green onions. Serve at room temperature.
Serves 4.

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