Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Salmon Nicoise Sald--The Very Best Salad for Summer

Summer's officially here! That means it is the perfect time to share my favorite summer salad with you. (I got the basic idea from Martha, but added my own touch and I think mine is actually much better)
Salmon Nicoise Salad.
One of my favorite things about summer is the food. Fruit and vegetables are at their best and I can have ripe fruit for breakfast, lunch and dessert. For dinner I like salad. There is nothing better on a hot day, when you don't feel like standing over the stove, and you need something light and refreshing, than a really good salad.
And this is it.
A really, really, really good salad.

When I make this salad for dinner Aaron gets the way some men do about steak, or a Laker championship. He is stoked. I know, I am lucky to be married to a guy who considers salad a meal. Once you try it, you'll be sold, too.
So let's get started with the ingredient list.

1 salmon fillet large enough for 2 people (I use frozen, wild salmon, boneless, skinless)
3 small cucumbers (Persian are my favorites) or 1 large cucumber
1/2 a pound of fresh green beans
1/2 pound of baby red potatoes
4 eggs
1/2 a large avocado or 1 small avocado
cherry tomatoes
Roasted red peppers (jarred, or if roasting your own, 1 red pepper)
Nicoise olives or Kalmata olives (DO NOT use regular black olives)
Blue cheese
Romaine lettuce (I like to mix mine with arugula)

To Make:
Begin with steaming your potatoes. Cut them into quarters and steam until fork tender.
Trim the green beans and steam until just tender. Don't overcook. They should still have a firmness about them. Plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking and retain bright green color.

Hard boil the eggs and when they are cool, remove them from their shells and slice.

While the potatoes, beans and eggs are cooking, prepare your salmon. You can cook it using your favorite method. It is good grilled, pan fried, or baked.
I drizzle a little olive oil on mine, squeeze some fresh lemon juice over it, sprinkle it with dill and broil it until it flakes easily onto my fork. It is perfect every time.
Now prepare you other ingredients.
Peel and cut cucumber into small chunks.
Slice the red peppers into thin strips.
Peel and core the avocado and cut into small chunks.
If the cherry tomatoes are large, slice them in half.

Once your salmon is cooked, you can begin to assemble the salad.
I know it looks like this is a lot of work, but really, this is a quick dinner. It is about the assembly line.
I usually make 4 salads. 2 for dinner and 2 for lunch the next day.
Yes, it's that good.

To Assemble:
A large shallow bowl works best for this salad. If you don't have one, use a plate.
Cover the bottom of your bowl with a layer of lettuce. It should not be very thick.
Divide your potatoes into 4 equal portions and place 1 portion on top of the lettuce. Do the same with the remaining portions.
Divide and place the green beans, cucumber, tomatoes, sliced red peppers, avocado and egg in the same way.
Keep each ingredient together for the composed salad look.
Add a small handful of olives, blue cheese and then place the salmon on the top.

I like to use just a drizzle of olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper to dress my salad. There are so many rich flavors in the salad I don't think you need more. But if you have a favorite dressing, try it and see if it works for the salad.

The great thing about this salad is you can make it far in advance and keep it until dinner. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
It travels well and is especially good for an evening concert at the park, or lunch on the beach.
Or, you can just make it in the morning when it is still cool enough to cook and then relax away the hot afternoon with a cold drink and a good book.
You don't have to worry about a thing--dinner is done!

Enjoy this one tonight, or at least very soon.
Happy summer eating!
Love from,

PS. Thanks for all your great ideas for my bedroom! I am really excited by the things you have suggested. I now have some great new ideas and I can;t wait to test them out. If you didn't get a chance to comment, take a look here and give me some feedback.

Lastly, take a little peek at what I got this weekend. I am so in love! I sent my husband out to get himself a Father's Day gift and he came home with this:
More pics tomorrow and some other great weekend finds. See you then!


Anonymous said...

I MUST know what those finds are! I MUST!

Christina said...

The salad looks delish- we're trying it tonight! :)