I don’t know about you, but I love Ina Garten. I love how her recipes are a lovely mix of simple and easy, yet still refined and sophisticated. Her dishes are great for get-togethers and entertaining, and therefore she’s big on making meals ahead of time. The Salmon Salad caught my eye because of its beautiful, vibrant, and fresh flavors. It’s a lighter version of a mayonnaise laden fish salad that I find so delicious, and makes a fabulous lunch by itself, served on top of a salad, or rolled in a wrap or on a bun.
I decided to browse Ina’s cookbook because I love her Barefoot Contessa show so much. For those of you who don’t know, her East Hampton specialty food store became famous thanks to her innovative recipes and her beautiful catering style. Let me just say, I want her life when I’m older. Her show films her cooking relaxedly for her adorable little husband with fresh herbs from her beautiful garden, and she presents these gorgeous displays of flowers for her luncheons with her friends. That is my goal for when I’m 60.
Anyways, her recipes are so fabulous. They’re perfect for entertaining purposes and I can see how they evolved from her years of catering experience. So I was looking through her recipes and landed on this salmon salad. It seems to be pretty healthy, and I had a lot of the ingredients already in the fridge. I was craving carbs that day so I thought I’d serve in on a toasted whole wheat bun. As I expected, the salad was light and delicious. You could taste each component of the salad, because instead of being slathered in mayo, the flavors were enhanced by the vinegar. The fresh dill and red onion added a nice, bright component.
I cut the recipe in half since it’s just the two of us, so the recipe that follows are the measurements for what I did. I also ended up using tarragon vinegar instead of raspberry vinegar, because I could not find raspberry vinegar anywhere! I liked the tarragon vinegar but the raspberry would probably be even better! Like I said, I served this on a toasted whole wheat bun, but since there’s no mayo in this salad it doesn’t hold together like a traditional salmon salad would. That being said it would probably be easier to eat served in a dish by itself, accompanied by a couple slices of bread and a maybe some mixed greens. Yum!
Grilled Salmon Salad (serves 2)
- 1 lb salmon filets
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for grilling
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 stalks small diced celery
- 1/2 a red onion, small diced
- 1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
- 1 Tbsp capers, drained
- 1 Tbsp raspberry vinegar (or a vinegar of your choice)
Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Cut the salmon into 4 slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the salmon about 5 minutes on each side, but do not overcook! Its preferable for the salmon to be rare in the center. When the salmon is finished cooking, place salmon on a plate and move to the refrigerator until cold and firm. Once the filets are cold you can remove the skin easier. Then, using a fork flake the salmon into the large, natural flakes and add to a bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients and fold until well combined. Taste for seasoning, and serve cold or at room temperature. Makes a perfect lunch!