In the summer I prepare a Composed Niçoise Salad, but I always feel it’s too light to eat in the winter — silly since I eat tuna and potatoes and green beans all year round! However, I was really excited about making this Salmon based salad, it seemed perfect for a snowy December day.
The classic Cobb Salad has chicken and bacon and gorgonzola cheese and tomatoes and eggs and avocado. That combination doesn’t work for me, so I decided to reinvent this salad for my kosher kitchen. I guess I should just rename it since there’s little resemblance to the original Cobb salad at this point, save for the fact that the ingredients are presented in a composed manner.
The chicken was substituted with pan seared salmon. For bacon I used crispy salmon nova. Gorgonzola, too powerful a flavor for the fish, was replaced by a milder blue cheese. I incorporated the avocado in the dressing, used sweet yellow and red cherry tomatoes, an entire bunch of scallions thinly sliced, and finely shaved anise (aka fennel). The only constant was the hard boiled egg.
COMPOSED SALMON SALAD
1.5 lbs Salmon filet, skinless (olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, turmeric)
1 lb Salmon Nova, preferably low sodium
6 large eggs, hard boiled
1/2 cup Blue Cheese, Crumbled (available in packages, already crumbled)
2 cups yellow and red cherry tomatoes
6 scallions, sliced
1 large fennel, core removed, thinly sliced (I use a Benriner for this)
2 heads of Boston Lettuce
Avocado Vinaigrette … see previous post
You can easily prepare all of the components for this salad a day in advance, combine on a platter just before serving — allowing all of the ingredients time to come to room temperature before eating.
Slice the salmon into 1 1/2″- wide pieces, then cut each strip in half. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt, fresh pepper and ground turmeric.
On medium-high, heat just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a stainless steel fry pan. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the salmon presentation side down. When a nice crust begins to form the salmon will no longer stick to the pan, that is the time to flip the fish. Continue to cook, reducing the heat to medium, until the sides of the fish become opaque — remember, fish continues to cook even after being removed from the heat, so do not over cook. Remove from pan and repeat with the remaining fish. Note — if using a non-stick pan, eliminate the oil.
Separate the pieces of the the Nova Salmon. Heat a non-stick fry pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place enough salmon to cover the bottom of the hot pan, without overcrowding. Allow the salmon to cook until it becomes golden brown, about 2 minutes, flip over and brown the other side. Remove from pan and place on a cooling rack or directly onto paper towels. With paper towel wipe down the remaining oil in the pan and place the next batch of salmon in the hot pan. Continue until all the salmon has been cooked to a crispy golden brown.
In an medium bowl, toss the sliced scallions with 1 tsp dressing. Place the scallions on top of the lettuce, running in a line along the dish.
Place the salmon filets in a line beside the scallions.
Next, add the crumbled Blue Cheese.
Using the same medium bowl, toss the shaved fennel with 2 tsp dressing. Line the fennel beside the cheese.
Cut the eggs into quarters and lay them in a row.
Break the crisp salmon-bacon into pieces and place next to the eggs. Then add the cherry tomatoes to finish off the platter.
Generously drizzle the entire salad with Avocado Vinaigrette.