I have been making this salmon salad for ages. It was one of my first great successes cooking from the Everyday Food mag by Martha Stewart. You may think that I have fallen off of the Whole 30 challenge wagon, with the sounds of this delicious offering. I'm happy to report that I am 11 days into this thing and this dish happens to fit in comfortably with only 1 ingredient to reconsider...a smidgen of honey, which I replaced lickitty split. I used a bit of pureed pineapple to fill the role of honey and it worked great. All of the components in this salad play an important part, and the outcome is fantastic. Crunchy vegetables, sweet fruit, and toasted almonds topped with chunks of the simplest salmon drizzled in a sweet, tart, sesame vinaigrette.
Asian Salad with Salmon
Origin: Adapted from Everyday Food, Martha Stewart
Notes: You can substitute different types of fruits and nuts in this salad. Try chunks of pineapple or mango or cashews in place of the almonds. I have served this dish as a part both a lunch and brunch spread and I have made it countless times for dinner. It is really simple and quick.
2 salmon fillets (about 8 ounces each)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
4 tablespoons pineapple puree (or 2 tablespoons honey)
1 small head napa cabbage, shredded (about 6 cups)
1 small head red cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
2 large carrots, shredded
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia
1/2 cup sliced or chopped toasted almonds
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon fillets on a rimmed baking sheet, rub with a 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake fish for 10-15 minutes, turn the broiler on for the last minute or two to brown the tops a bit. (If your salmon has skin on it, bake it skin side down the entire time, once cooked, remove the salmon leaving the skin behind. A layer of aluminum foil will make your clean up a lot easier.) The fish can be served warm or room temperature.
While the fish is cooking, in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, and pineapple puree (or honey), season with salt and pepper. Set aside 2 tablespoons dressing.
To remaining dressing, add napa and red cabbage, carrots, onion, almonds and apricots and toss to coat.
Top the salad with chunks of salmon and drizzle remaining dressing over salmon. Serves 4.