Monday, April 2, 2012

Salmon Salad

I love fusion in my cooking.  Whether it be a fusion of flavors, textures, or temperatures, I always have contrasts, no, conflicts in my dishes, challenging the diner's palate.  I have a strong background in film studies, and have always been drawn to those films that challenge a viewer's previously held ideals and beliefs about what film should be.  I think I've subconsciously carried that avant garde mentality into my cooking - though I haven't quite ventured into the realm of molecular gastronomy with its foie gras ice cream and grapefruit caviar.  That being said, I almost always marry the sweet and savory in my dinner meals.  There's something so beautiful about getting salty and sugary and spicy all in one bite.

One of my family's favorite dinners - and one such dish that combines the savory and sweet - is salmon salad (don't worry, this isn't like a tuna salad, its salmon over a bed salad).  The salad portion of this meal consists of: mixed greens because I liked the varied textures and bitterness of each kind; dried and fresh fruit for the sweet and chewy; roasted tomatoes because they are my current obsession and because they themselves possess both elements of the sweet savory; red onions for some crunch and bite; and avocado for the creaminess.  The marinade for the salmon varies with our mood and what's in the house, but the salad remains with little variation.  Tonight I decided to carry that sweet-savory theme onto the salmon with a marinade of soy sauce, spicy peanut dressing, and orange marmalade.
However, like with all of the recipes I post, you can take the idea and do whatever you want with it.  Take the general idea - salmon on top of salad - and make the dish that fits your tastes.  This dish is really a blank slate.  I'm just giving you a general outline and letting you color in the lines, or outside of them for that matter.

Salmon Salad
¼ soy sauce
¼ Trader Joe's Spicy Peanut Dressing
2 tbs orange marmalade
1½ lbs wild caught salmon 
5 oz container mixed salad greens
½ red onion, chopped
1 avocado, cubed
½ fresh strawberries, sliced
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ roasted tomatoes
Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette

+ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the salmon in a deep baking dish, skin down.

+ In a medium bowl, whisk together soy, peanut dressing, and marmalade until combined.  Pour over salmon, making sure that the top of salmon is well covered.  Bake for about 40 minutes, or until salmon is flaky and light pink inside.
+ Toss greens, onion, avocado, berries, and roasted tomatoes in the vinaigrette.  Serve pieces of warm salmon over chilled salad, drizzling some of the caramelized marinade over the top.

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