Salad Should Always Taste This Good

18 Jul
Salmon and Spinach Salad

Sorry. We had a bite or two before remembering to photograph. So sue us.

And I’ve been bored with salads recently. I’ve been trying to eat them for lunch to be healthy, and then The Husband always wants one at night, because he’s addicted to avocado. Not a bad thing, really. But sometimes—damn, just give me a green vegetable!

Yet, here we are. After our dear neighbors, affectionately called Pal and Am, cancelled on us for dinner, we decided to have the salmon we purchased at yesterday’s farmer’s market. (We were shocked and disappointed recently to find out that most of our FM is NOT organic, but that’s a story perhaps for another time.) Instead of cooked spinach, we decided to go for spinach salad.

So of course I whip out Epicurious on the ol’ iPad, and find a recipe for spinach salad with grilled red onion and tahini dressing. Well, I have red onion, but no tahini. But a little hummous??

Let me just tell you, for someone who was bored of salads, this one turned out to be one of my favorites in a while. In a word: YUM. Combined with the tasty, Indian-spiced crust on the salmon—heaven!

Indian-Crusted Salmon

You don’t need a bunch of fancy spices to cook good Indian food. Invest in some Patak’s curry pastes; they last forever in the fridge, and give you a last minute marinade for chicken, fish, beef or lamb. Or tofu—nothing livens up tofu better than Indian spices. For local Orange County people, you can find a wide selection at Nina’s Grocery in El Toro by the library.

1 pound center-cut salmon (wild, of course, never farmed)
2 Tbs Patak’s Garam Masala paste
1/2 tsp garam masala powder (optional—will work fine without)
1 Tbs grapeseed oil

Mix together the last three ingredients; spread over the salmon. Coat the skin side with grapeseed oil. Grill paste-side up for X minutes, then flip to the skin side for the last X minutes.

Spinach Salad with Mustard Dressing

This was inspired by the Epicurious recipe. but I fudged it a bit to match what was in my cupboard.

1/4 green (Granny Smith) apple, unpeeled, sliced thin and then cut to small pieces.
1/2 ear of grilled corn
1/4 red onion, grilled
1/2 ripe avocado, chunked
3 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds


3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil (the kind that’s too expensive to cook with)
1 Tsp whole-grain mustard
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar (We use Trader Joe’s, natch)
1 Tsp hummous
1 clove of garlic, minced or grated on a fine micro-plane grater

Don’t worry about making pretty, even pieces of the red onion or the apple. You’re amongst friends, right? Put all of those things into a wide bowl, but keep the almonds for last.

Mix the dressing together; add some black pepper to taste. Make sure that there’s enough dressing to cover your salad, and if not, add a little more vinegar and a dollop more oil.

Toss with the salad ingredients, and add the almonds at the last minute so they don’t go soggy. Serve alongside the salmon, which hopefully, your husband, like mine, has cooked perfectly so it melts in your mouth with a beautiful crunch of the Indian crust.

BTW, this salad is an awesome vegan alternative to a spinach salad laden with bacon and gorgonzola. I’m just saying. Vegans have fun too, you know.


Does it make you hungry, baby?

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