Port Ewen, New York State, USA --- Smoked Salmon Salad + Nicoise Salad --- Image by © Mascarucci/Corbis

Cooking in the spring is a sheer pleasure! The food gets more colorful, fresh and bursts with flavor!

Not only do I parade out my favorite dishes on which to serve my spring feasts but I choose bright colorful foods that befit the season. Simple foods, prepared with the least amount of cooking, handling or fuss to preserve their integrity. Here is one of my favorite dishes this time of year, Salmon!

Even non-fish lovers yielded to the wonderful and unexpected loveliness of this fish dish. Add in asparagus for a fresh and unexpected twist to this spring salad with a simple mustard vinaigrette for maximum spring-iness!

Salmon Salad Nicoise with Mustard Vinaigrette

This is a great lunch, light dinner or brunch dish. The salmon, potatoes, green beans, vinaigrette and hard-boiled eggs can all be made ahead, leaving only assembly at meal time to serve this dish to the table. This is a delightful and beautiful dish for entertaining. It looks beautiful on a platter in the middle of the table; it is a meal and a centerpiece all in one! To serve a crowd, increase quantities of everything.

Ingredients

  • Salmon*
  • Potatoes**
  • Olives
  • Onions***
  • Green beans****
  • Tomatoes
  • Vinaigrette*****
  • Hard boiled eggs ******
  • Butter lettuce or mixed baby greens

Method

Bake the salmon, cook the potatoes, boil and cool the eggs, make the vinaigrette, slice the onions, cut the tomatoes, cook and cool the green beans. Arrange the salad greens one half of a large serving bowl or deep platter. On the other side, keeping the elements in their own clusters, place the onions, olives, tomatoes, green beans, potatoes and the eggs, cut in half. Drizzle with vinaigrette just before serving.

Baked Salmon*

  • Ingredients
  • Salmon fillets
  • Method
  • Preheat oven 400 degrees. Place salmon on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Bake for until fish is opaque in color and flakes apart when pulled
  • Potatoes **
  • Microwave and Boiling Method
  • Ingredients
  • 2 lbs Creamer potatoes or small red potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Pinch of sea salt for cooking
  • Italian Parsley (I prefer Italian, it has a better taste, or you could use flat parsley)
  • Ground or fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
  • Dijon mustard (I prefer the brand, Maille)

Microwave Method

  1. In an ovenproof/microwave proof dish place the cut potatoes (small potatoes in ½, larger ones in ¼’s).
  2. Pour in about 3 tablespoons of water and sprinkle a little sea salt on potatoes.
  3. Cover with an Easy Lid or microwaveable plate, not too tightly and not too loosely so some heat can escape and won’t burst the wrap.
  4. Place in microwave and heat at 100% until potatoes pierce easily with a knife. (depending on the power of your microwave, could take anywhere form 10 to 20 minutes, so check. Careful for the steam!)
  5. Once cooked, take out and drain off the water. Toss in a little butter or margarine to coat.
  6. Toss in a heaping teaspoon of butter and fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste. Toss to coat. Cut up and toss in the parsley. Serve.
  7. Store in refrigerator. Use remaining potatoes for another meal like sautéed the next morning to go with your eggs at breakfast.

Tools and Equipment: microwave proof dish, plastic wrap or an Easy Lid, measuring spoons (teaspoon), cutting board, knife, wooden spoons)

Boiling Method

Or you can boil them in pot on the stove until cooked. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Onions***

You can use raw red onions, or balsamic onions, which can be made ahead.

Hard Boiled Eggs ******

Method

Place eggs in a pot, pour cold water over top to completely submerge the eggs. Place the pot on high heat and bring to a boil. Cover pot and take off the heat. Let sit for 12 minutes. Drain and run under cold water until eggs are cooled. Keep in the shell until ready to use.

Dijon Vinaigrette

Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, seal salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, mix.

Olives (jarred, canned or from the deli counter)

 

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