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Tag: salmon

Salmon Salad with Avocado

Salmon Salad with Avocado overhead shot

There is nothing like a plate of salmon and greens that just makes you feel healthier for eating it. I sometimes feel as if I deserve a medal when I make this Salmon Salad with Avocado. We all know how important it is to increase the amount vegetables in our diets but did you know that salmon has its own set of health benefits? Just enter the search terms ‘salmon’ or ‘omega-3’ into Google Scholar to see how salmon can reduce inflammation, has anti-oxidants, improve the vascular system, among other benefits.

But we aren’t here to talk about nutrition and health benefits. We are here to talk about deliciousness and this salmon salad with avocado does not disappoint. I like to cook the salmon in a cast iron skillet. Check out my recipe for Pan-seared Salmon for details on the technique. Or, you can also cook the salmon outside on a BBQ. When I prepare salmon, I typically just season the fillet with salt and pepper to let the flavor of the fish shine through.

Salmon Salad with Avocado side view

For the greens, I love the flavor and texture of a spring or mesclun mix. When I make a salad, I like to think about incorporating various flavors and textures. The avocado adds a rich creaminess to the dish. The cucumber and sprouts bring freshness to the recipe. The red onion provides a bite and almonds give the salad some crunch.

While salmon is the star of this dish, green goddess dressing is the leading lady. It is super easy to make and tastes so incredibly fresh when you make it at home. Use a mixture of herbs to maximize the taste of the green goddess dressing if you make it yourself. I love chives, parsley, and basil but use what you have. I typically use this recipe for green goddess dressing when I make salmon salad with avocado but you can use whatever dressing you favor.

Salmon Salad with Avocado single plate

I would love to hear about what ingredients you like in your salmon salad. Let me know in the comments below. I am always on the hunt for inspiration.

How to Make Salmon Salad with Avocado

Check out these other salmon recipes:

Salmon Salad with Avocado long pin

 

Pan-seared Salmon

Pan-seared Salmon in skillet

The last quarter of the year always means decadence, celebration, parties, events, and on and on. While I enjoy it immensely, sometimes you just need to take it all down a notch and do your body a favor. So, I like to have some easy-to-prepare, healthy recipes in my back pocket for times when all the abundance is too much.

Salmon fillets perfectly fit the bill for those times. One of my favorite techniques for cooking salmon is to pan-sear it in a cast iron pan. The technique is simple and results in a picture-perfect sear on the fish. There are just a few key steps to successfully searing salmon.

Pan-seared Salmon on a plate

First, you want to pat dry both sides of the salmon, moisture is the enemy of a good sear. Secondly, heat a neutral oil such as vegetable oil or avocado oil in a cast iron skillet until the oil shimmers. I used to feel intimidated by the idea of using a cast iron skillet. There’s the seasoning of the pan, the no soap cleaning, and oiling it after use. It seemed to be more bother than it was worth for me. But, my sweetie changed my mind about cast iron and showed me the ropes. Now, I love cooking in it.

Here is a short video from Bon Appetite’s Test Kitchen which shows how to care for cast iron.

 

The last step for a perfect pan-sear is to place the fish in the hot oil and use a flexible spatula to press the fish down for 10 seconds. The fish will start to curl when it hits the hot pan. You want to make sure the whole surface stays in contact with the pan. That is what ensures a nice sear.

Pan-seared Salmon close-up

To accompany pan-seared salmon, I choose whatever veggies are in season.  In the fall and winter, I like to steam broccoli or broccolini topped with a splash of lemon. In the spring, asparagus is a lovely accompaniment and during the summer I will use green beans or squash. I often will oven-roast potatoes to round out the meal.

Pan-seared salmon pin

Verlasso Salmon at Harmon’s

verlasso-salmon-fillet-harmons

Which Fish are Safe to Eat?

I love seafood but I worry about which fish are safe to eat.  Wild is better than farmed, right? Or, is it the other way around?  I know that the oceans are over-fished and that the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch attempts to help consumers make good choices by producing a list of fish that are sustainably raised. For years I used to keep their little booklet in my wallet and then eventually I downloaded their app onto my phone when it became available. But, the point is, there is a lot to keep in mind when choosing to buy fish.

Verlasso at Harmon’s

Last weekend I had the opportunity to go to an event held at the downtown Harmon’s Grocery store. As an aside, if you have not been to this locally-owned grocery in the heart of Salt Lake City please go check it out. The food selection and quality are magnificent. Harmon’s and Verlasso wanted to introduce Verlasso salmon to the Salt Lake’s fish-loving community.

verlasso-salmon-harmons-event

First a little background about Verlasso, in 2013 the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch program added Verlasso as the first producer of farm-raised salmon to the ‘approved’.  Verlasso raises their salmon in Patagonia which has an ideal environment for farming. You can read more about their story here.

verlasso-salmon-zaatar-harmons

Time for Tapas

We were ushered upstairs to lovely space on the cafe level where high tables were set up and Harmon’s chefs and fishmongers were busy preparing and serving tapas using Verlasso salmon. Our favorite tapa was the za’atar-spiced salmon with fennel and orange salad. We loved that each large cube of salmon was coated in za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice mix of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt) and then quickly sauteed for a few minutes. The chefs plated the salmon on dollops of spicy harissa and cilantro yogurt sauce. Finally, the tapa was garnished with sweet, crisp fennel and orange salad placed on top. So good.  I may have gone back for seconds. No, I unabashedly went back for seconds and considered thirds but occasionally decorum dictates my behavior.

verlasso-salmon-tartare-harmons

Our second favorite tapa was the salmon tartare with spicy sesame and avocado (recipe forthcoming!). This one is a perfect appetizer to accompany drinks for happy hour or a kicked up snack for game day. The chefs cut the salmon into small cubes and dressed it with lime, shallots, ginger, avocado, and crushed pink peppercorns. You could serve the tartare with tortilla chips or rice crackers and it would be delicious! I did go back and tell the chef I was getting a second ‘for my friend’. I am certain that I will make my own version of this tapa because it was so good.

Finally, there was a brief talk from Verlasso’s Culinary Director thanking everyone for attending and making sure that we picked up a complimentary copy of their cookbook and a piece of salmon to take home. Also of note, Harmon’s fishmonger was on site filleting the salmon which went into the swag bag. That’s fresh!

Where to Find Verlasso

If you live in Utah, Verlasso salmon is available at Harmon’s grocery stores. To see where you can buy Verlasso salmon in other states check out the map.

 

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