January 8, 2018

reading in the kitchen - salmon salad from 'the marrying type'

In the middle of her busiest time of year, made even busier by trying to save her family's business, Elliot Lynch, The Marrying Type's heroine, takes a break to make sure her father gets a proper meal. What could be better than a fresh bed of vegetables topped by a heart healthy piece of salmon?

Here's how it plays out in the story:
Walter ambushed Elliot while she diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions for their lunch salad.  
“Where are we on the Dalrymple business?”  
Sliding the vegetables into the bowl, she tossed them with the mix of spinach and arugula. “You should ask Libby. I haven’t been involved with any of your matchmaking plans to win their business.”  
Walter peered over her shoulder and sniffed at the salmon salad in progress. At his last physical, the doctor said he was at risk for high blood pressure. While Walter wanted to settle the issue by taking a pill every day, Elliot was doing her part by making healthier foods. He’d almost cried the night she’d served whole wheat rigatoni instead of the cheese-stuffed tortellini he favored.  
She didn’t let his whining deter her. She would make sure her father ate healthy and lived a long life if it killed him.  
Plucking a tomato slice from the bowl, he leaned against the counter to watch her work. “What do you have going on today?”  
“Sadie Warner, the bride in the Warner-Crawford wedding, invited me to their house-warming party.”  
“We’re coordinating another party for them?” He frowned at the tomato slice and took a bite. “I didn’t realize they’d hired us for more than the wedding.”  
“We aren’t. It’s a small-ish party at the bride and groom’s house.”  
“They’re throwing it themselves? And you’re going?”  
She focused her attention on plating the salad and salmon instead of her father’s ferocious frown. “They invited me to go as a guest. It seemed like a good opportunity to get a better idea of who will be at the wedding.”  
“Who will be there?”  
“I’m not sure. Friends. Family. The usual.”  
He nodded absently, turning his attention to the salad in front of him. “I suppose it’s a vote of confidence from them to you. They wouldn’t want you there unless they liked you. That’s good for business.” He took a bite of the salmon and chewed it thoroughly before swallowing. She held her breath as he ate another piece, picking up some lettuce with this forkful. “Not bad.”

From Walt, both comments were high praise. Maybe with a little more time she’d actually earn a “good job” or “we couldn’t have done this without you.” But for today, she’d settle for “not bad.”

I hope you enjoy what I imagine to be the recipe featured in Chapter Thirteen of The Marrying Type.

I 86-ed the tomatoes on mine, because I'm not a fan of raw tomatoes.

Salmon Salad for Two

4 cups of fresh spinach, rinsed
4 cups of fresh arugula, rinsed
1 tomato, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
8 ounces of salmon
3 tablespoons olive oil (split)
juice from one lemon (split)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
seasoning for salmon (I used Wildtree's seafood seasoning, but lemon juice, garlic, and pepper can make a great blend too)
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons of unsalted pecans or walnuts
cooking spray
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. Place two salmon filets on pan and cover with 1 tablespoon olive oil, juice from one lemon (minus 1 tablespoon), and seasoning of choice. Wrap foil and place directly on rack. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked as desired.

In a bowl, toss rinsed spinach and arugula. Dice one tomato, one cucumber, and 1/2 red onion and toss together with the greens.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ingredients for the dressing, including 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss in with the salad and top with fresh-from-the oven salmon. Sprinkle chopped pecans or walnuts to add some crunch.

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