SALMON WITH CUCUMBER SALAD

Though, in my opinion, salmon isn’t the tastiest fish, it certainly is among the prettiest to land on a plate. However, add a refreshing cucumber salad and a yogurt-based sauce and you will have some happy eaters. This recipe is an adaptation of  Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook’s “Grilled Salmon with Herbed Cucumber Salad.” Yummer!

Salmon with Cucumber Salad

6 oz plain fat-free yogurt

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

3 tsp fresh lemon juice, divided

sea salt

ground black pepper

1 large cucumber, sliced thin (I used a potato peeler)

1 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tsp minced shallot

4 salmon fillets (about 5 oz each)

1) In small bowl mix: yogurt, 1 tbsp olive oil (reserving 2 tbsp), 2 tsp lemon juice (reserving 1 tsp), 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/8 tsp pepper; refrigerate

2) To medium-sized bowl, add cucumber, parsley, shallot, 1 tbsp reserved olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp), 1 tsp reserved lemon juice, 1/8 tsp sea salt, and 1/8 tsp ground black pepper;  toss to mix and refrigerate

3) Rub 1 tbsp reserved olive oil over both sides of salmon fillets and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper; add fillets to large skillet over medium-high heat and cook each side 4-5 minutes until done in center; transfer fillets to plates, top with cucumber salad, and add a dollop of yogurt sauce; serve

Servings: 4

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GREEK-ISH SALAD

Why Greek-ish? I had this beautiful avocado that begged to be included in the party, and then there was the dressing. I let my guys choose their own rather than whip up a traditional vinaigrette. And it was delicious!

Greek-Ish Salad

8 cups chopped romaine lettuce

3 green onions, sliced thin

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 cups chopped tomatoes

1 large cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

3/4 cup chopped kalamata olives

1 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese

Dressing of your choice

1) Divide romaine lettuce between four plates; scatter green onions, red bell pepper, tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, kalamata olives, and feta cheese over top; serve with dressing of your choice~and enjoy!

Servings: 4

ASPARAGUS-CHICKPEA-WHITE CHEDDAR SALAD WITH SHRIMP

We are talking salad weather! Though this was to have been a meatless meal, my guys were hungry, so I piled on a bit of cooked shrimp and they were quite pleased with their dinner. Love those chickpeas!

Asparagus-Chickpea-White Cheddar Salad

1 tbsp olive oil

1 naan bread (or pita), cut into 1″ squares

sea salt

ground black pepper

20-25 thin asparagus spears, ends trimmed, cut into 1-1/2″ pieces

6 cups fresh spinach

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup sliced kalamata olives

6 oz white cheddar, cut into small cubes

1-15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

12 oz cooked shrimp (optional), tailless, peeled, and deveined

Dressing of your choice (vinaigrette is nice)

1) Heat olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat; add naan bread and cook, turning often, 5 minutes; sprinkle with salt and pepper, remove from skillet, and set aside to let cool

2) To skillet, add asparagus and cook, stirring often, 3-4 minutes; remove from skillet and set aside to cool

3) Divide spinach between 4 plates and scatter the following over the top: cucumber, tomatoes, asparagus, kalamata olives, cheese, naan bread, chickpeas, and shrimp; serve with dressing of your choice

Servings: 4

TOMATO CHICKEN KALAMATA OPEN-FACED SANDWICHES

I served this lovely sandwich to my mother and sister for lunch when they flew in from Nevada for our son’s graduation last spring. Not only is it fairly easy to toss together (with a little pre-chopping and dicing), but it’s delicious and oh-so-pretty. The Kalamata olives and pepperoncini are the real stand-outs in this dish. Wonderful!

Tomato-Chicken-Kalamata Open-Faced Sandwich

2 tsp lemon zest

2 tbsp lemon juice

2-15 oz cans chicken breast, drained

3 cups diced tomatoes (I used Campari)

1 cucumber, peeled and diced

1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/2 cup parsley, minced

1/4 cup green onions, sliced

1/4 cup pepperoncinis, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

4 thick slices french bread, cut on the diagonal

olive oil (for french bread)

sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) To large bowl, add lemon zest, lemon juice, chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, parsley, green onions, pepperoncinis, 2 tbsp olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper; set aside

3) Brush top of each french bread slice with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with sea salt; bake in oven 7-8 minutes

4) Place a french bread slice on each of 4 plates; spoon chicken salad over bread and serve

Makes: 4 hearty servings/6 lighter servings (if you add a couple slices of french bread)

NOTE: This is a “repeat” recipe featured on my original “Kitchen Novelist” blog 05/22/12.