Monday, June 21, 2010

What's Cookin?: Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Salad

This was a yummy salad that I threw together. I had seen a recipe for a smoked salmon salad and it sounded delicious. I came up with my own version. It's a great dinner salad packed with lots of healthy veggies and protein from the smoked salmon.

The asparagus can be prepared as you wish. I normally steam or par boil my asparagus but I love cooking it on the grill. Cooking asparagus on the grill gives it an extra smokiness. Salmon is a great source of protein and is high in omega 3 fatty acids. Pecans added to the salad pack a lot of fat, but it's good fats. Pecans are high in monounsaturated fatty acids It is also high in antioxidants, B complex Vitamins (good for neurological function) and Vitamin E. Enjoy!

Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Salad

1 lb. fresh asparagus, ends trimmed
1/2 c. pecans, chopped
1 lb. mixed salad greens (I used a mix of baby greens, spinach and arugula)
1/4 lb. smoked salmon, shredded or chunked

1 Tbsp. grated orange rind (from 1 orange)
1/4 c. freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 1/2 an orange)
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

1) Prepare dressing by combining ingredients in a small jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously to mix ingredients well. Chill while you prepare the salad.

2) Prepare asparagus by your method of choice. You can either boil, steam, par boil or grill them till they are tender.

3) Place pecans in a small skillet and roast over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they are lightly toasted.

4) In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, pecans & smoked salmon. Pour some dressing over the salad and toss well. (I usually lightly dress the salad and leave extra dressing on the table for guests to use)

5) Plate up the salad and serve with asparagus spears on the top.