I love salad. A lot. I have a million varieties complete with home made dressings which are super easy once you get the hang of them They are all basically the same basic idea with alterations – good oil & good acid (vinegar or citrus – ya smart arse). But you need to get yourself a hand blender and a good quality salad spinner. Those are essential.
I love turning things that wouldn’t typically be a salad, into a salad. You will see those in future posts. This one is pretty standard in that it has a protein and some greens along with candied nuts and some form of goat cheese or feta and a fruity player to balance. This combo has been done and done and done. But that is for good reason. It tastes amazing, if you are into that sort of thing. The salty, tangy, creamy vs the sweet, nutty, crunchy and…. blah blah blah.
That said I have tried to mix up the flavours a bit to give a little bit of a fresh take. I didn’t google or borrow this one I just made it up tonight. I am sure there are similar things out there. But here is mine! A dish I make! I hope you like it. I gobbled it up with a toddler on my knee. And yes I ended up with dressing and sticky maple all over my jeans. But that’s a mama’s job right?! 😀 And even the 7 year old cleaned his plate!
Salad Ingredients: (This fed 2 adults, 1 kid, 1 toddler – adjust to suit yourself)
- 1 Head or clamshell of favourite greens washed, spun, chopped (Tonight I used a bit of lovely Butter lettuce and some Red Leaf – spinach would be great)
- 3 small avocados (2 large)
- Feta (Cow, goat, Macedonian, whatever you prefer)
- Candied Pecans (see below for recipe)
- Pan Cooked Wild Sockeye Salmon Fillet (see below for recipe)
- Citrus Maple Dressing (see below for recipe)
- 1 Table spoon Olive Oil
- 2 Table spoons Maple Syrup (you could sub honey or brown sugar)
- Couple pinches salt (I used Hibiscus frosted sea salt by Maison Coté a lovely local Vancouver product!)
- 1 cup Pecan halves (small bag or couple handfuls this is approximate)
Heat up olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Once oil is hot throw in pecans for a couple mins stirring around not to burn. Turn heat down to medium low. Toss in the maple syrup and sprinkle in the salt. Stir the pecans around for a few minutes until it’s a nice sticky mess and the maple syrup has reduced. Scrape nuts into a bowl. If you leave them in the pan they will stick nice and hard and you will be sad. Alternatively you can toss them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and cook in the oven til they are golden and smell yummy.
Marinated Sockeye Salmon:(^approx amounts)
- 1 nice big piece of Wild Sockeye (large enough to feed all the peeps you wanna feed or as many individual fillets as you feel like cooking) – Arctic Char would be a good substitute.
- 2 Table spoons Kecap Manis^ (amounts are approx.) If you don’t have Kecap Manis just use more syrup and more soy sauce. It’s basically a thick sweet soy. If you are going to go find it get this one!
- 2 Table Spoons Maple Syrup^ (amounts are approx.)
- 1-2 Table Spoons Dark Soy Sauce^ (amounts are approx.)
Put the salmon in a bowl with the Kecap Manis, maple syrup and soy sauce. Let it marinate for as long as you got. I only did about 15 minutes while I prepped everything else because it was an early dinner night (kids activities). But if you have time let it go longer in the fridge for added flavour.
Heat up a pan to medium high. Throw in some olive oil. Cook for about 5 minutes skin side down. Turn down the heat a little to medium. Then flip over trying not to break it apart. The marinade will make it stick a bit and you are going to want to use one of those mesh covers as it will spit and smoke. Turn on the fan if you have one. Once flipped cook another few minutes depending on how thick the piece of salmon is. You should get a nice crispy skin and a charred sear on the top side. So pretty! Let it cool on a plate while you get the other ingredients all fancied up on a plate.
Citrus Maple Dressing: (^approx amounts)
- Juice of half a lemon
- Juice of half an orange
- Half a peeled shallot (why am I telling you to peel it. Just in case, you never know!)
- Pinch hibiscus salt (totally fine to sea salt or Himalayan – chances you won’t have this obscure salt – I am just a food lunatic)
- Cracked pepper (I use tri-colour or rainbow but regular black pepper is great. Pink pepper would be awesome if you have that! I don’t but it’s on the list! My pantry just won’t let me – it’s toooo cramped in here!!!!!)
- Splash rice vinegar (the kind you use to season sushi rice)
- 3-4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil^ (adjust to your taste and preference for dressing texture)
- 1.5 Tablespoons maple syrup^ (you could sub honey or brown sugar or better yet Coconut Sap)
Throw all this madness into a blender or into a large container or cup and hand blend it til it’s all smooth and velvety. Taste it. Adjust salt, pepper, sweetness, vinageryness (not a real word) etc. til you say YUM.
This is pretty basic. But in case you need/want instructions anyhow, here goes. Put greens on plate. Top with avocado, crumbled feta and candied nuts. Since the salmon will still be a little warm I like to put it to one side so it doesn’t wilt the greens. Then drizzle as much dressing as suits your taste.
And here are some snaps for fun!