Salmon salad two ways

I wanted to post a recipe for a favorite dish of ours, a robust stew of ground turkey, salsa, and beans topped with a cheesy crust. Unfortunately, it looks like … mush. It’s completely beyond my current skills to get a photo that makes this dish even look edible, never mind appetizing. We’ll continue making it, and I’ll pull out the camera each time. Hopefully, I’ll get a good shot.

Meanwhile, let’s talk salmon. Leftover salmon, to be specific.

When we have salmon for dinner, I make extra. The firm texture and fattiness (healthy fat, remember!) of salmon mean that it holds up well in cold dishes. Arctic char (a salmon relative) and fresh tuna can also be used in these salads.

Cook the salmon like this, or use your favorite method. Chill the salmon well. Flake it and gently fold in the other salad ingredients. Bind the salad with wasabi cream, if that fits with the flavors you’re using. Or use straight mayo, a mayo-sour cream combination, or homemade low-fat ranch dressing.

The first salad adds creamy avocado and bright cherry tomatoes to the salmon. It’s held together with the ranch dressing and accented with fresh herbs and a sprinkling of grated parm.

There are plenty of great chefs who shudder at the thought of cheese with fish. If you agree with them, leave it out. Here in Cheesehead Land, anything goes (with cheese, that is).

The second version combines fresh spinach and salmon with the wasabi cream. Wasabi’s sinus-clearing heat is tempered by the sour cream and rich salmon. Deep green spinach contrasts nicely with the rosy salmon, and brings some serious nutrients to the party.

Both of these salads are easily doubled. Serve them as is, or on a bed of greens, or as a sandwich filling.

Salmon-Avocado Salad with Tomatoes
serves 2

6-8 ounces cooked salmon
1/2 of an avocado
1 cup cherry tomatoes
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup ranch dressing (homemade or store-bought)
1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbs. chopped parsley

With your fingers, gently break the salmon into bite-sized pieces, discarding any skin and gray-brown bits. Peel and cube the avocado; halve the cherry tomatoes. Add the scallions, dressing and parmesan (if using) and fold together. Taste and add salt and pepper if you feel the salad needs it. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Salmon-Spinach Salad with Wasabi
serves 2

6-8 ounces cooked salmon
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil and/or parsley
1/4 cup wasabi cream
salt and pepper to taste

With your fingers, gently break the salmon into bite-sized pieces, discarding any skin and gray-brown bits. Give the spinach a rough chop (or use the whole leaves) and add to the salmon with the scallions and herbs. Gently fold in the wasabi cream. Taste, add salt and pepper if you wish, and serve.


About Rivertree kitchen

I am a freelance editor with a specialty in cookbook editing. I've written two small cookbooks (50 Best Sundaes and 50 Best Cookies) and have edited more than 200. Despite my immersion in recipes, my favorite way to cook is to see what's in the fridge and wing it. I live with my husband and two dogs in rural Wisconsin. Husband (Tom) and son (Luke) are talented cooks themselves. All the photographs in this blog are my own creations. I'm a neophyte in the world of food photography (as if you couldn't tell), but I still claim blushing ownership of the pix you see here. If you want to reprint them (I can't imagine why), please give credit, if for no other reason than to pass on the blame.
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