Salads

Greenz R Good

Grilled Salmon with Olives over Italian Couscous Salad

The weather was gorgeous yesterday and I had a friend coming over for dinner. She and I both like fish but were not in the habit of cooking it because neither of our significant others would eat it. While pondering what should be on the menu, I realized that we don’t have to worry about what our significant others eat anymore… since they are now our ex-significant others. 🙂 Aha, I decided — fish it is!

I tend to default to salmon so I went to the market with the intent of maybe trying something new. I surveyed some halibut and took a gander at the mahi mahi but ultimately the fishmonger convinced me salmon was the way to go. I had some staples at the house that I thought I could whip up with it to make a decent little dish.

Now, my intent was to fire up my neglected Green Egg, pull out some maple planks I had in my grillin’ kit, and try my hand at plank cooking for the first time. Unfortunately, I failed to check out all of my equipment early in the day and, when game time rolled around, I realized my planks had been exposed to moisture somehow and had mildew spots. I was betting that mildew would not complement the salmon, so I tossed them in the woodpile and decided to go with a super simple grilled salmon recipe courtesy of a fellow foodie named Mike.

Easy Grilled Salmon

Rinse salmon, pat dry, and return to refrigerator uncovered to dry a bit. Pull out a nice sized piece of heavy duty aluminum foil (just a bit bigger than your salmon) and coat it with cooking spray. Place the salmon skin side down and on the foil and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, ground pepper, onion powder and garlic powder on top.

This was taken with my iPhone since I had also forgotten to charge my camera. Still getting back into the swing of things...

This was taken with my iPhone since I had also forgotten to charge my camera.

Heat your grill up on high to 400 degrees and then adjust down to maintain that temperature. Place foil with salmon directly on the grill and check after 10 minutes. Cooking time should be somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes. Remove when it looks and feels done (flaky on the edges but still a bit moist in the center) and let it rest for 5 minutes before plating it up. When ready, just run a knife underneath to separate the skin and cut into individual portion sizes. While the salmon cooks and rests, you can whip up your…

Italian Couscous Salad (Serves 6)

Boil 2 cups of pearl (also called Israeli) couscous as directed on packaging. Here’s what it looks like in the store…

While couscous is still hot, add one cup each chopped sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts (both packed in oil and drained.) Stir in 1/3-cup pine nuts and 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese. Season with 1 tbsp red wine vinegar, salt, and ground pepper. Taste and adjust any of the mix-ins until you are happy.

Pearl Couscous

Darn the blurriness!

Put a big scoop of couscous salad on each plate, top with a serving of grilled salmon, and spread a little olive salad on top like so…

Salmon with Couscous

I gotta say, it turned out pretty well — better than many a salmon dish I have been served in restaurants. Better yet, I flaked the leftover salmon, added it to the leftover couscous salad, and had some most excellent lunches to take to work this week.

Easy, quick, and pretty healthy to boot — give it a spin, y’all.

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Categories: Recipes, Salads, Seafood | 2 Comments

Vegtastic Salad with Basic Vinaigrette

Friends, it has been a long, dark winter. Thank God that spring has sprung here in Texas and the sweet sunshine has been healing my tired soul. Lately I find myself hankering for something fresh to eat while also contemplating the onset of swimsuit season. Both are excellent reasons to make a healthy Vegtastic Salad.

Feel free to riff on the recipe below and include your favorite veggies or switch up the vinaigrette ingredients based on what you have on hand. This is also a great salad to make after a trip to the farmers market with whatever super seasonal produce you find. I’ve included my preferred way to layer the salad so that you get the dressing evenly distributed without all those pretty veggies ending up in the bottom of the salad bowl.

Veggie Salad

Vegtastic Salad (Serves 6-8 as a side)

Ingredients

  • Two 6-oz bags mixed salad greens
    (Like one bag of butter lettuces and one bag of baby romaine, etc.)
  • 1 cup red grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup yellow grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1.5 cups shredded carrot
    (I get this bagged, also)
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas, whole or halved
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Place both bags of greens and half of shredded carrot in your salad bowl and drizzle with vinaigrette (recipe below.) Toss to combine and coat evenly with dressing. Place remaining carrots, tomatoes, and sugar snap peas in a gallon Ziploc bag. Pour in some more vinaigrette, seal bag, and shake until toppings are all coated. Remove from bag and layer on top of the salad greens. Top with fresh ground pepper to taste and parmesan cheese.

If you are doubling the recipe for more folks, just make two layers of greens and toppings.

Basic Vinaigrette

Ingredients

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice (you can mix this up — I used a tbsp each of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar and filled up the rest of my measuring cup with some pomegranate vinegar)
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a 16 oz jar and shake vigorously to combine. Taste and add a bit more honey, if needed. Dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. (Which is good because you won’t use it all for the salad above.)

Improvise your own combination of lettuces, veggie toppings and acids (citrus juices/vinegars) to keep it interesting. Before you know it, you too may feel like a salad ninja. 🙂

Categories: Recipes, Salads, Vegetables | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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