Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Salmon Salad with Cherry Sauce

This salad combines two of my favorite foods from the Pacific Northwest - fresh salmon and cherries. Both are still available fresh in my market here. I know the cherry season is quickly coming to an end. If cherries aren't available, you can just as easily use plums or apricots. Want to make this in the wintertime? While the taste is best when everything is fresh, frozen works fine.


for the cherry sauce:

2 Tbs. white wine
1 small cinnamon stick
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup pitted cherries, chopped
3 Tbs. seasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp. honey

for the salad:

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup peeled and diagonally sliced carrots
1 cup sliced red pepper
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1 cup diagonally sliced asparagus
2 salmon steaks
grinds of sea salt
grinds of pepper
8 cups baby spinach leaves
2 tsp.white sesame seeds
2 tsp. black sesame seeds

Directions: Make the cherry sauce by combining all the ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced to 1/3 of the original. Pour the fruit and the sauce into a bowl and refrigerate until the remaining salad is ready.

Heat the olive oil in a non stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute, add the red peppers and cook for 1 minute, add the mushrooms and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the onion, cooking for one minute, add the asparagus and cook for one minute. Test the carrot to make sure it is cooked to your liking. Continue cooking if you prefer your asparagus cooked more. When the asparagus (and all of the other vegetables) are done cooking, remove them to a plate and set aside. Add the salmon steaks to the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Season the salmon with grinds of salt and pepper.

To serve, place two cups of spinach on each of 4 plates. Pour about 2 teaspoons of the cherry sauce over the spinach as a dressing. Add one quarter of the cooked vegetables on top of the spinach. Top the vegetables with 1/2 of a salmon steak. Garnish the salmon with some of the cherries, along with some black and white sesame seeds.

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Fresh caught wild salmon is better in so many ways! First of all, there's the taste. Add to that, the color - it's real! Did you know that some of the farm raised salmon is so bright in color because of the color additives in the food? More vitamins? Yes, several studies have shown that wild salmon have greater vitamins than those raised in captivity. If you can't find fresh wild caught salmon, use frozen. Much of the salmon is flash frozen, meaning it is frozen very soon after it is caught. The taste is still delicious!

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