Friday, March 28, 2008

Colorful Fruited Salmon Salad

Spring is in the air and then some in Texas. We're already getting some pretty warm days here and there, so one of my favorite springy-summery salads has made it back into my menu planning. Bright, multi-hued food is healthy food, so this must fit the bill. A palette of deep orange wild salmon, saffron-yellow mango, juicy red strawberries, nice crisp cucumber, red-violet onions, emerald spinach, creamy baby red potatoes, and soft green avocado create a feast for our eyes and for our tummies. With a light dressing that lets all of the salad's individual components shine, this is one of our favorites.

There is a huge amount of information about salmon to be found on The World's Healthiest Foods. Scroll waaaaaay down on this page and look for the headings "Farmed Salmon Found to Have a Higher Toxic Equivalency Score than Any Other Food",
and the one under it, "Choose Sockeye Salmon for the Most Vitamin D".
There's a lot more great info to read about salmon here, but those were particularly interesting to me. Check out this link from the Monterey Bay Aquarium for more reasons NOT to eat farmed salmon.

Colorful Fruited Salmon Salad:

Wild sockeye salmon (it will be previously frozen this time of year)
~5 Baby red potatoes, halved and boiled for ~10-12 minutes.
Organic baby spinach and baby arugula mix (I used spring mix once and thought it had too much going on flavorwise with everything else, so keep the greens simple)
Organic Strawberries if you can get them...taste so much better, halved and sliced
Mango, pitted, peeled and sliced
Avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
Red onion, thinly sliced on the vertical
Feta cheese, crumbled

whole grain mustard
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
a small squeeze of agave nectar (probably doesn't even need this if you have nice sweet fruit)
cider vinegar
canola oil
dash of hot sauce (optional)

Set a pot of water to boil. Salt the water, then add potatoes. Boil until just fork tender, then drain. I usually add a little salt and a wee bit of butter at this point.
Set aside.

Preheat oven to 450.
Place salmon skin side down on a foil-lined lightly oiled (where the fish will be) baking sheet.
Rub salmon with a little olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Wild salmon tends to cook faster, so keep an eye on it.

Prep all your other salad goodies and make dressing. Arrange your greens on each plate and toss with a little of the dressing to coat leaves.
Place a piece of salmon in the center of each bed of greens (when removing from baking sheet, use a metal spatula to separate the salmon from its skin).
Artfully arrange all your toppings around the fish, then drizzle with more dressing.
Tuck in!

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