Hello, friends! It's been quite a while since my last post. This season has been a packed one that seems to have flown by. I was super excited to get away this Memorial Day weekend. Kyle and I took a trip to the ranch, which meant no phones or computers or social media - just family, exploring, reading, writing and grilling. It was just the right balance of exploration and rest. We navigated our way along streams that opened to fresh pools of cold water surrounded by the greenest grass (a very unique find in the Texas - New Mexico desert) and we made ourselves at home on the large rocking chairs that lined our front porch with plenty of reading and writing material in hand (& morning visits from our peacock friend, which you know about if you saw my IG post, ha). Given the time and lack of technology, I got to catch up on all of my fun reading, brainstorm new recipes and articles, and start making progress on recipes I have been wanting to post for some time now.
As summer is quickly approaching, I thought getting my Salmon Nicoise Salad up would be a good first step. It's fairly simple to throw together and, although a salad, it is hearty enough for a filling and satisfying weeknight or weekend dinner. Not only is it simple and filling but wild salmon is also reaching its peak season as we speak, making it a perfect time to give this recipe a try! Parts of this salad can also be prepped ahead of time, which is great if you're making this for company and want more time to talk and hang out vs being in the kitchen. I'm excited to finally get this recipe up and here it is - my Salmon Nicoise Salad. It's recipe that friends and family have enjoyed these last few months and I think you will enjoy as well!
SALMON NICOISE SALAD
Serves 3 - 4
INGREDIENTS (for Salad):
Two 6-ounce salmon filets
1/8 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
Pepper, to taste
1 medium lemon, sliced into 6 thin slices
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced (about 4 cups diced raw)
2 teaspoons olive oil, to cook potatoes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced lengthwise
1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed
1/4 cup Kalamata olives (drained of juice)
2 tablespoons capers (drained of juices)
3 cups mixed greens
Champagne Vinaigrette - see recipe below
INGREDIENTS (for Dressing):
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper and place both salmon filets on baking sheet.
Sprinkle salmon filets with a pinch of salt and cracked pepper (<1/8 teaspoon salt on each).
Top each salmon filet with 3 slices of lemon, covering the length of the filet and set salmon aside.
Line separate large baking sheet with parchment paper (may need 2 - see step #7).
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the sweet potatoes, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon of salt.
Spread the potatoes out onto the large prepared baking sheet (use 2 baking sheets if the pan gets too crowded).
Place sweet potatoes in the preheated 400 degree oven on the top rack and cook for about 35 minutes, flipping the potatoes about 15 - 20 minutes into cooking. If cooking potatoes on bottom shelf, turn or stir about 10 minutes into cooking to prevent burning on one side.
While potatoes cook, add capers, olives, tomatoes, and mix greens to a bowl and set aside.
Now start the green beans.. Fill a medium pot with about 1/2 - inch water and bring to a boil. Add the steamer basket to the pot followed by the green beans. Cover the pot and allow beans to steam about 5 minutes. After the beans have cooked, turn the burner off but leave beans in the basket covered to stay warm.
When the potatoes have about 15 minutes left, add the salmon filets to the oven and cook for another 15 - 20 minutes (cooking time of salmon will vary. A general rule is to cook the salmon 10 minutes for every inch thickness).
While the salmon & sweet potatoes cook, make the dressing by whisking together all dressing ingredients. Or add to a small jar and shake really well!
Add about 1 tablespoon of the dressing to the greens-caper mix and toss to combine.
After the last 15 minutes, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and turn the oven on broil, cooking just the salmon filets about 1 more minute. The lemons will brown and caramelize slightly. Remove from the oven.
Now that all items are cooked, to a dinner plate: Place 1/2 salad mix. Add 3/4 cup green beans to one side of plate. Add 3/4 cup of sweet potatoes to another side of plate. Flake the warm salmon in the middle.
Serve with the remaining dressing, caramelized lemon slices and warm crusty bread.
Green Beans: folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A
Sweet Potatoes: beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese
Lemons: vitamin C
Dressing: monounsaturated fat, vitamin E
Salmon: omega 3 fatty acids, protein, B12, selenium
Spinach: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron
FUN NUTRITION FACTS - SALMON
Did you know what the different types of salmon mean? I didn't really until recently when I asked the man at the fish counter about it and then read an article on it in my new Cook's Illustrated magazine. Yes, knowing the difference between these can play a role in what you choose from a nutrition perspective, but it may also help your friend or family member like salmon! Salmon can certainly be a fishier fish, but some varieties are more mild than others. Here is a brief rundown of what I now know....
WILD SALMON (Coho / King / Sockeye) - leaner, tougher, a stronger flavor
FARM RAISED (Atlantic / King salmon) - milder flavor, more omega-3's (fattier fish), a softer, flakier texture (some say "buttery").