Saturday, June 23, 2012

Salad Nicoise with Salmon and Garlic Scapes

Our CSA box provided inspiration for this twist on the classic main-course salad.  I've fallen for garlic scapes.  Their mild flavor compliments so much without overpowering the other elements of the dish, like the more mature bulb form of garlic can (but oh, how I love garlic in all its forms!)  Their crispness reminded me so much of fresh green beans.  With that thought in my mind I decided to tackle salad Nicoise, but using as many veggies as possibly from our fresh and local batch.

The salad base is my own
Vinaigrette adapted from Julia Child

Serves 3

The Ingredients:
for the salad
2 - 4 oz salmon fillets
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp oil
5-6 garlic scapes, cut into 1-inch lengths
3-4 cups mixed greens (I used spinach, green leaf lettuce and arugula)
2 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 small German butterball potatoes, boiled and sliced
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced

for the vinaigrette:
1 potato onion, finely minced
1/2 Tbsp Dijon-type mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/3  olive oil
Freshly ground pepper to taste

The Process:
for the vinaigrette:
combine all of the ingredients in a screw top jar and shake vigorously.

for the salad
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Season salmon with salt and pepper. Place salmon, skin side down, on a non-stick baking sheet Bake until salmon is cooked through, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Allow to cool.

Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic scapes and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to cool. 

Toss the mixed greens with the vinaigrette and divide among three serving plates. Flake the salmon and arrange one third of the meat down one side of each plate.  Layer one third of the tomato slices along side the salmon, followed by one third of the potatoes and on e hard boiled egg.  Line one third of the garlic scapes down the other side.


The review:
This dish can be a little tedious to prepare with all of the boiling, baking and sauteing needed, but the end result is a filling and refreshing summer treat.  Tuna can be substituted, but I found salmon to be a nice change of pace.  The garlic scapes add a wonderful twist.  Green beans are lovely, but sort of band at times.  The scapes provide a similar crunch and texture with a pleasantly mild garlic flavor.  Paired with the acidic dressing...yum.

I kept the layers simpler than the classic salad...omitting the anchovies, capers, shallots and keep the focus on the uber fresh veggies from our CSA box.  I was not disappointed.

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