Friday, April 12, 2013

Salmon With Spinach Salad And Miso Vinaigrette

Salmon With Spinach Salad And Miso Vinaigrette Recipe

It's official: all the signs of spring are upon us in full force. Some of my favorite arrivals:  sunnier, warmer weather; young vibrant snap peas at the farmer's market; the return of our community ducks {babies in tow} to our Grand Canal; and the ushering in of warm weather recipes. No misunderstandings - I enjoy comfort food while enduring chilly weather, but this time of year it is all about fresh, light meals with an eye toward outdoor dining and a glass of rose or a from-scratch margarita. I am sure you too have recipes that you eagerly revisit this time of year.

One recipe that is in heavy rotation at my house once warm weather settles in for a stay is this nutritious, quick dinner. With sauteed salmon and a side salad of spinach and cucumber, it's a light yet satisfying dish with very few carbs. But what I really want to talk about is the vinaigrette. A gingery-miso-sesame oil dressing that I am going to ask you to bookmark.  It makes this dish fantastic and I suspect it would do the same for any number of Asian-inspired salad or grilled fish recipes you may conjure up in your kitchen. It's a keeper. {Notes: the quantity of vinaigrette below is per the original recipe; I prefer to increase it by 50%; sauteing the salmon is per the original recipe, but when you are ready to fire up your outdoor grill - go for it}

Salmon With Spinach Salad And Miso Vinaigrette

8 t grapeseed oil, divided
4 fresh salmon fillets, wild, about 5 oz each {*}
1/4 t kosher salt
1 T white miso
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 t fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 t sugar
1 t sesame oil
1 c + 1/2 c diced cucumber
1 {9 oz} package of fresh baby spinach
1 t toasted sesame seeds

In a bowl, whisk together 2 T grapeseed oil, miso, vinegar, ginger, sugar and sesame oil. Set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 t of grapeseed oil and swirl to coat the pan. Pat the salmon dry and sprinkle both sides with salt. Add the salmon to the skillet and cook until desired doneness {4 minutes per side is a general guideline}. Remove fish from pan, brush each fillet with about 1/2 t of vinaigrette and cover to keep warm.

Add the cucumber and spinach to the bowl of vinaigrette and toss.  Arrange a fillet on each of 4 plates. Divide salad among the plates, placing it to the side of the salmon. Sprinkle each plate with 1/4 t sesame seeds.

Serves 4.

{*} This former fish market snob is now a Costco convert.  Their wild fish fillets, flash frozen and individually sealed in 5oz fillet packs, are consistently fresh and I cannot say that about my local market finds - no matter how high end.
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Source: Adapted from Sunset Magazine

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