It's Weekend Herb Blogging time. Last weekend WHB was off having a great time in Italy, but it's back in Utah with its creator, Kalyn, who has a slew of herb recipes from other bloggers at her site. Check it out, you'll be glad you did. My recipe for this weekend features fresh dill, which is one of my favorite herbs. Although said to be extremely easy to grow, I've never had much success with it. I don't harvest it as conscientiously as I should and it goes to seed on me far too quickly. Fresh dill tastes good with fish and potatoes and is perfect in this salad made with salmon, new red potatoes and asparagus. It's easy to make, delicious, and very healthy for you.
You can make the salmon, potatoes and asparagus the day before and toss it with the salad greens and vinaigrette just before you serve it. I halved the amount of salmon, potatoes and asparagus in the recipe since it was just for Bob and myself. But I made the full amount of the vinaigrette, because it's a fairly small amount--and we love the way it tastes!
1 lb. salmon fillet, skin removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 lb. small, round red-skinned potatoes,
each about 1 1/2 inches in diameter
3/4 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed
For the vinaigrette:
4 dry-packed sun-dried tomato halves
Boiling water as needed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh dill
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
10 oz. mixed baby greens (about 8 cups
3 green onions, white and light green portions,
Prepare a hot fire in a grill and oil the grill rack, or preheat an oven to 400°F. Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
Grilling method: Using tongs, place the salmon over the hottest part of the fire or directly over the heat elements and grill, turning once, until the salmon is opaque throughout when tested with a fork, about 4 minutes per side. You may also pan grill the salmon in a heavy skillet over a high flame, cooked around 4 minutes on each side until the meat is almost cooked through.
Roasting method: Place the salmon in a baking pan, transfer to the oven and roast until the salmon is opaque throughout when tested with a fork, 10 to 12 minutes.
Transfer the salmon to a plate and let cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a large saucepan and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 15 minutes. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, peel and cut into slices 1/2 inch thick. Set aside on a large plate to cool completely.
If the asparagus spears are thick, use a vegetable peeler or an asparagus peeler to pare away the tough outer skin of each spear to within about 2 inches of the tip. Cut the spears diagonally into 1-inch lengths. Place in a steamer rack over boiling water, cover the steamer and cook until tender-crisp, about 3 minutes. Remove the rack from the pan and rinse the asparagus under running cold water until cool. Pat dry and arrange next to the potatoes on the plate.
When the salmon is cool, cut it into 1-inch chunks and place the chunks alongside the potatoes and asparagus.
To make the vinaigrette, put the sun-dried tomatoes in a heatproof bowl, add boiling water to cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain and cut into 1/4-inch dice. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, dill, orange zest, garlic, 2 Tbs. water, salt and a grind of pepper until blended.
In a large bowl, toss the salad greens with 2 Tbs. of the vinaigrette. Spoon the remaining vinaigrette over the asparagus, potatoes and salmon. Using a large, flat spoon or spatula, gently coat the ingredients evenly with the dressing. Arrange the greens on a large platter. Top with the asparagus, potatoes and salmon, and sprinkle with the green onions and fresh dill. Serve at room temperature. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Essentials of Healthful Cooking,by Mary Abbott Hess, Dana Jacobi & Marie Simmons (Oxmoor House, 2003).