Everyday Food (March 2009)
There are lots of signs of spring: daffodils and tulips popping out of the damp earth, diners once again lingering in outdoor cafes, and -- in D.C. anyway -- the pale blush of cherry tree blossoms.
But one certain sign of spring that we always look forward to is when our local Sunday farmers market returns to its longer summer hours. It's not a drastic change, really. The farm stands open an hour earlier and stay around longer into the afternoon. But the extended hours lure more vendors back to the market and entice more residents to return. It's as sure a seasonal signal as any other.
One of the best parts about the reawakening of the farmers market? The growing abundance of fresh greens. That means we'll likely be eating more salads as the temperature rises. And we'll definitely be adding this Spinach Salad with Salmon and Balsamic-Rosemary Vinaigrette to our repertoire.
This salad can be made and assembled in 15 minutes flat. The salmon, which is broiled, cooks in only 7 to 9 minutes and while it cooks, you can easily throw together the rest of the components.
Adding goat cheese and pecans makes this salad much more substantial. It can really stand on its on as a dinner entree.
And the dressing, made quickly in a blender, was perfect -- thick and creamy with a bit of a bite from the mustard and balsamic.
Individually, we love these ingredients. Together, they made for a dynamite salad.
Treat yourself to a nice taste of spring this week and make this salad. We know we'll be making it again very soon.
Spinach Salad with Salmon
Prep: 10 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
* 4 skinless salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 10 ounces baby spinach
* 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
* 3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (3 ounces)
* 1/4 cup pecans
* 1/4 cup Balsamic-Rosemary Vinaigrette
1. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Place salmon on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Broil, without turning, until opaque throughout, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool briefly, then flake.
2. Divide spinach and tomatoes among serving plates. Top with salmon, goat cheese, and pecans, and drizzle with vinaigrette.
Makes 3/4 cup
* 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 1 small garlic clove
* 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt,
* 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
* 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. In a blender, combine 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 small garlic clove, 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (or 1/4 teaspoon dried), 2 tablespoons water, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Blend until smooth. With machine running, add 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a thin stream; blend until creamy. (To store, refrigerate, up to 2 weeks.)