Saturday, May 19, 2007

Salmon Encore

I seem to be stuck on a theme here. Salmon, salmon and more salmon. What is it about this orange fleshed fish that makes it so addictive? For me, eating is first and foremost about the senses, and this fish has them all. The color draws me in like those of a Gaugin painting. Odd that a fish of the cold northern waters should be reminiscent of the tropical scenes of a French painter, but who am I to argue with color? The flavor can stand on its own, unadorned except for a squeeze of lemon. Or you can dress it up in something more sophisticated - the satiny texture of a sauce dotted with dill, for instance. Or something a little more rustic, such as the rub I wrote about last time.

But here's the thing: If you're cooking for one, as I often am, there's always that leftover portion. Now, some people feel that fish will not withstand even a day in the fridge. I find that if wrapped well, fish can stand up to 3 days in the fridge with little or no degrading of flavor. Of course, this pre-supposes that you've started with the very freshest fish.

In my clinic, which I share with others, we have a rule that we cannot heat fish in the microwave for lunch. It makes the room smell like fish, and there will be patients who will be using that room when we're done with lunch. So the obvious answer here is salmon salad. I adore salads, especially when the weather is warm. I have gone in two different directions with my salads - one direction is to throw everything but the proverbial kitchen sink in it, and the other is to keep it simple. I like both approaches, but this time I chose the simplicity, if for no other reason than to allow the salmon to take center stage again. The star of the show shouldn't have to worry if she's being upstaged by a bit player, should she?
For this salad, I decided to keep the Northwest theme going. I was in Trader Joe's and saw a box of blueberries. It winked at me. No, really, I swear it winked at me! What was I to do? I looked at those deep blue berries and thought how beautiful they'd look next to my salmon. I was building my palette. I had been whittling away at a jicama for a couple of days, and decided that a bag of baby spring mix salad would provide the perfect, dark purple and green background for this painting.
For the dressing, I kept it simple.....Some olive oil, a touch of sesame oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.

I decided that the salad needed a side dish -- something thicker and denser. So I picked up some garlic hummus and those wonderful pita chips - this time just toasted with some sesame seeds. Yes, this was a meal which was made mostly with stuff I bought at TJs. The salmon was my only addition. But you know what? Sometimes, that's all this girl wants.
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11 comments:

Lydia said...

Salmon and fruit is a great combination. Last night for dinner, we braised some salmon in orange juice, soy and maple syrup -- then added the whole, fish and "juice", to a salad of greens and dried cranberries.

Toni said...

Lydia - That sounds like something I'd love! Next time you do that, I'll bring the wine!

Chris said...

Another delicious post! :)

Patricia Scarpin said...

Toni, salmon ie great - keep these delicious recipes coming! ;)

I've never had salmon in a salad, it sounds so good!

Susan said...

Jeff would love this combination. Thanks! Now,I wonder if the berries at my TJ's will wink at me. ;)

Toni said...

Chris - Thanks!
Pat - If you like it the day you cook it, you'll love it in the salad the next day! Very refreshing in hot weather.
Susan - They'll wink. And they're fabulous these days, so wink back!

Freya and Paul said...

I love simple salmon dishes! Another great one for the bookmarks!

Cyndi said...

I sure wish my husband liked salmon - and that I liked it more than I do (which is just a little). YOu've made it look so good. I also like that you eat outside - why do I always stay indoors when it's so lovely out on the deck? Have to start going out.

valentinA said...

I'm crazy about salmon! WHenever I read your post about salmon, it makes me crave for it even more. I've recently been able to get hold of a salmon filet & gonna post about it soon:) You've influenced me;)

Terry B said...

Wow! It would never have occurred to me to mix salmon and blueberries, but as soon as I read it here, I could taste it. Of course, it makes sense, especially with the lettuce and salad dressing to cut the sweetness. I may have to try adding blueberries to the salsa I make for salmon with mango, strawberries, green onions and chili powder.

Toni said...

Cyndi - Some people like fish, some don't. Maybe it starts in childhood, I don't know. But perhaps it's possible to find a recipe that changes one's mind about a particular kind of fish. Worth a try, anyway. There's always a cat somewhere who'd be willing to take the rest of it off your hands!

Valentina - If I've influenced you, that makes me happy! Especially when it comes to something like salmon...

Terry - Well, most everything you write inspires me, so I'm happy to give you an idea. I'm sure in your hands, it will turn into a masterpiece!