Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Salmon on Greens and Berries with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette

So good to be home and cooking again...

This so-fast dinner is a riff on "Simon's Favorite New England Salad with Berries and Goat Cheese" from Linda and Martha Greenlaw's now out-of-print Recipes from a Very Small Island (2005:  Hyperion.)   There are a few copies available through amazon.com, but I was more impressed with this:

 Linda Greenlaw, America's only female swordfish boat captain, was featured in the book and film The Perfect Storm. She has written three New York Times bestselling nonfiction books about life as a commercial fisherman as well as a cookbook and two mysteries. 

Oddly enough, I saw these women on TODAY the year this book came out and fell in love with what appeared to be the perfect early summer salad.  I ordered the book and have been cooking out of it ever since.  I never put two and two together until today.  Had no idea of The Perfect Storm connection.  Duh, Alyce.  How many things we miss despite our seemly instant and huge connections.

I have just returned home from a trip that included sailing down the coast of Maine.  I saw LOTS of small islands!   Here are a couple of  shots: 

Taken from the shore of Bar Harbor

Dave looking at  very small islands off the coast of Maine!
 But about this meal, right?   The original salad is vegetarian; I've added both the salmon and the fresh strawberries, but not much more.  I've made this in all sorts of ways (with grilled chicken, pork tenderloin, and all sorts of berries), but this is my favorite version.  (Have blogged this before on More Time, but got  much better photos this time!)    Make it when the berries are perfect...

Minnesota Strawberries:  Red all the way through.  Small.  Tender.  Eat fast; they don't keep long.


 By the time you have grilled your small piece of salmon, thrown the greens, etc. into a bowl and made the vinaigrette, dinner's on the table.  If you're quick, it's 10-15 minutes total.

Wine?  I think you  have  a few choices here.  The fat in the salmon calls for a Pinot Noir, but a Chardonnay or a Albarino would also be just fine.  If you're a zinfandel fan, that too would fly.

Try this: 

salmon on greens and berries with maple-balsamic vinaigrette
2 servings:  invite a friend or save the other serving for tomorrow

2 3-oz pieces fresh salmon
olive oil
kosher salt and pepper

5-6 cups seasonal greens (I like a mixture of greens for this)
Juice of one lemon
4 oz fresh goat's cheese
1/2 cup each fresh blueberries and strawberries
1/3 cup dried cherries or cranberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 cup fresh sugar snap peas or chopped asparagus*

Dressing:  3T Balsamic Vin.egar, 1T real maple syrup, 1 t Dijon-style mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, pinch each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper or to taste.  Whisk well all but oil.  Slowly drizzle oil in, still whisking, until emulsified.  You'll have extra dressing, but it's yummy.

Here's the salad without the salmon.  Yum.  Just as good.
Heat a grill pan, a skillet, or gas grill to medium-high.  Brush the fish with a bit of oil and salt and pepper both sides.  Place fish skin-side up and grill about 4 minutes until browned and crispy.  Turn and cook another 2 minutes or so.  Remove from heat, cover, and let rest for a few minutes.  Hot or at room temperature is fine for this salad.

Meantime, toss the greens with the lemon juice and a good dose of salt and pepper.  (The salt will dissolve in the acid of the juice.)  Add the other ingredients and drizzle with a bit of dressing; toss well.  Divide the salad between two plates and add a piece of salmon to each.  Add just a bit of the dressing to the top of the salmon, too. 

If you're cooking for just you, reserve half of the salad and the other piece of salmon without the dressing on another plate.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for the next day's lunch or dinner. Add the dressing when you're ready to eat.

*If you're using asparagus,  cook it for 2 minutes covered, at full power, in the microwave and drain before adding to salad.

Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself,

In Quebec...ate lunch at a French cafe, of course!  Missed you.
Cream of Lentil Soup and Ham on Croissant.  Big coffee with real cream.  Thanks, God.


  1. Loved the recipe, the photos and the story of the cooks!

    I hear you're going to be coming out with a cookbook...can't wait!!!

  2. Cookbook hopefully done by Christmas: 30 Soups in 30 Minutes. Working hard on it now. Anyone interested in testing recipes?


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