Simple Salmon Salad


Hi fiends– Here’s Sunday lunch.  Trying to combine 2 things we should be eating more of– salad and fish.  So when I picked up 2 small salmon fillets at the market, I imagined a nicoise salad– but ended up with simple, quick version.  With a chunk of sturdy bread it’s a fine lunch.


Salad (makes two servings):
4-5 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup petit peas (fresh or frozen)
6 Baby Dutch yellow potatoes*
2 small salmon filets
1 to 2 tab. olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

5 tab. olive oil
2 tb. red wine vingar
1 tsp. seedy Dijon mustard**
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

To start, slice the small potatoes into thin slices and cook them 4 to 5 minutes in a bowl of salted water in the microwave.  Drain and set aside.

If you’re using frozen peas microwave them just long enough to defrost them–not cook them!

Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Cook the salmon 3 to 4 minutes on each side, adding salt and pepper as it cooks.  Let it cool a few minutes.

Then layer the greens, salmon, potatoes and peas on 2 dinner plates.

For the dressing, shake together the dressing ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid until they are thoroughly combined.  Pour over the salad when you’re ready to serve it.

*red skinned or small purple potatoes would work well too.



Asparagus & Sweet Pea Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette


Hello– hope you had the sweetest kind of Easter with family and friends there.  We had the grand-girls and their equally grand great-grandparents.  And it involved lunch and a not so tranquil Easter egg hunt in the backyard.

Lunch included a salty ham, whipped sweet potatoes, hot biscuits and this salad.  It reminds me of a better version of all those “peas & carrots” we ate going up.  But it’s bright and fresh and tastes like springtime.  Wish I could say the grand-girls loved it!  But truth be told their favorites were the chocolate eggs.  Though if you’re over 10 years old, I think you would like this spring time salad just fine!

2 bunches asparagus (about 1 pound each)
2 cups sweet baby peas (frozen)*
1 orange
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar**
4 tab. of fresh orange juice
1 tab. grated orange zest
1 tsp. sugar or honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Crack off he woody stems of the asparagus and drop it into a baking dish of slightly salted water.  Pop it into the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes, until the asparagus is tender enough to eat but still crispy.

Defrost the peas in the microwave for just 1 to minutes, so they are tender, but still firm (no mushy peas!!)

Layer the asparagus and then the peas onto a pretty platter.

To make the dressing, grate the zest off of the orange and then juice it to produce 4 tab. orange juice.  Mix that with the olive oil, vinegar and sugar (or honey).  Shake it all up in a closed container with a tight fitting lid.  Then salt & pepper just enough to wake up the flavors.

Drizzle the dressing over the veggies when you are ready to set it all on the table.  Served at room temperature.  Makes about 8 big servings.

*If you can find fresh baby peas, all the better.  My grocery is not fancy enough for that.
**Whatever your favorite vinegar is fine– I would also use every day cider vinegar.




Pea Pesto Pasta Salad

IMG_0948Hi there– the name of this recipe sounds rather like a tongue twister.  You know, Peter Piper… But with all those sweet peas, the firmness of the pasta and that coating of creamy pea filled pesto– it’s a fine springtime dish.

One night last week, my Larry had to work late– so this little salad turned into a picnic dinner in the conference room of his office, along with some olive bread and a bottle of wine.  It was a quiet light meal before he went back to work for a bit that evening.   But I’m thinking it would be just right to take along to a bar-b-que or a pot luck with friends.

1 1/2 cup ditalini pasta (or any smallish pasta)
2 cups peas (fresh or frozen), divided
1/4 cup loose basil leaves
1 shallot, peeled and cut in chunks
1/3 cup parmesan romano cheese, grated
1 tab. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cream (or whole milk)
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
3 slices of bacon, into smallish bits

Put the pasta on to boil with a little salt and oil, according to the package directions.
Set it aside to cool.

Put the bacon on to cook, just until the small bits are crispy but not too brown.

Make the pesto by dropping one cup of the peas, the basil, shallot, parmesan romano, olive oil and garlic into a blender (or use a stick blender).  Puree until it’s all a fine mush.  Then sit in the cream and salt & pepper to taste.

Finally stir together the cooked pasta, pesto sauce and the remaining cup of peas.  Put it in the fridge to cool.  And mix in the bacon, just before setting it on the table (to keep it crispy). Enjoy!

Asparagus Salad

IMG_0193Hey there– I just think it’s just so nice that fresh asparagus season coincides with Easter dinner.  There were stacks of tender stalks at the grocers last week — and I totted a pretty plate of asparagus along with sweet peas and tender little lima beans**, all topped with crispy shallots– to share with the family at my brother Mark’s house.  Grandmas, aunts, uncles and all sizes of cousins were there for the Easter lunch– a lovely, delicious day together.

1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. tarragon vinegar
1 tab. parmesan cheese
3 shakes salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper
2 bunches of fresh asparagus
1 cup frozen baby lima beans**
1 cup fresh or frozen baby peas
2 shallots, sliced thinly
2 tab. olive oil

Shake together the oil, vinegar, cheese, salt and pepper in a container with a tight lid to blend thoroughly.  Snap the woody ends off the asparagus.  Cook in two batches — In a microwave proof container pour 1/2 cup water & a couple shakes of garlic salt.  Drop in half the asparagus and cook 4 minutes* in the microwave.  Repeat with the rest of the asparagus.  Drain it and spread it prettily on a plate.  Cook the lima beans according to the package directions. Drain.  Cook the peas just a minute.  Then sprinkle them both over the asparagus.  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan and cook up the sliced shallots until they are browned and crispy.  Put them over the veggies. Top with the dressing.  Serve hot or cold.

*For thin aspragus–2 or 3 minutes in the microwave is good, just enough so it’s tender enough to eat but still crunchy.
** I didn’t like lima beans as a kid– those big dry tasteless things.  So I’ve pretty much ignored them the last 50 years.  But these tender little guys are good!  I think I’ve found a new food friend!!