Story last updated at 6/19/2013 - 2:14 pm
My day job is in the visitor industry, which means a lot of long days and few breaks during the summer. When I do have the occasional day off, I tend to enjoy it relaxing and watching cooking shows. I don’t usually watch for specific recipes as much as technique. For example, Rachel Ray had a great recipe for peppers and sausage, and her technique was to boil the sausages in an inch of water and some oil, and as the water cooks down it steams the sausages, and then the oil browns them. Genius! I took this technique and created a recipe of my own.
With summer come salad recipes. I enjoy salads very much. The versatility and simplicity of them is what I like the most. One such recipe is Salad Nicoise. I have seen three different recipes lately for this dish. It must be the “in” food for the summer, which, means I should make it. I do enjoy being in trend. This is most obvious by my growing shoe collection.
Not knowing how to actually make the Nicoise salad, I did what all true cooks and chefs do. I Googled it. There are millions of websites, pages in Cyberville explaining the Nicoise salad. The word Nicoise is in reference to Nice, (neece) France, where the salad originated. It generally has some sort of fish, commonly tuna, tomatoes, green beans, olives and anchovies. The dressing is vinaigrette. Basic ingredients, most of which I had.
I pondered upon these recipes for a couple of weeks. I wanted to put the “Midgi” touch on mine so what could I do differently. Make it Alaskan of course! Switch out the tuna for salmon and do a little presto-chango with a couple of the other ingredients and I had an Alaskan Salad Nicoise. I used white king salmon, grilled asparagus, baby heirloom tomatoes and olives. I opted to skip the anchovies this time, but I’m not opposed to working with them in the future.
The result was a light salad that could be served at room temperature, refrigerated well and made for a full meal. I served it with some grilled ciabata bread with pesto and a nice glass of chardonnay. All in all, a successful meal made in about 30 minutes.
This week I present to you a French recipe with an Alaskan twist: Salad Nicoise — Alaskan.
Until next time…
Eat and enjoy,
Salad Nicoise — Alaskan
1 12 ounce can or 6 ounces fresh salmon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 English cucumber, sliced
½ cup olives
½ pint baby heirloom or grape tomatoes, halved
½ pound asparagus
2 medium red potatoes, thickly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
If using fresh salmon, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Also preheat non-stick skillet to medium high heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Season fish with salt and pepper and place in hot skillet seasoned side down. Sear for 3-5 minutes and turn. Cook additional 3-5 minutes and place in over for 5 additional minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. Once cooled, flake fish as if it were tuna, remove any bones.
For potatoes and asparagus, preheat grill pan to medium high heat. Drizzle remaining olive oil on potatoes and asparagus. Season with salt and pepper. Placed sliced potatoes on grill and cook for 5 minutes or until golden then turn and do the same. Potatoes should be soft on the inside. To speed up the process, you can microwave them for a few minutes to pre-cook. Remove the potatoes and add asparagus. Grill for 5 minutes rotating to get even char marks.
Plating: Place all ingredients on platter with fish in center. Drizzle with vinaigrette dressing.
Zest of two lemons
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Kelly Moore, a.k.a. Midgi, writes and cooks from Juneau. Visit her blog, www.mealswithmidgi.com, for additional stories and recipes. She may be reached at midgi@