Friday, February 19, 2010

Arranged Salmon Salad with Chinese Five Spice Vinaigrette

When you are asked to bring a dish for a pot luck supper, or to drop off a dish for a neighbor or friend in need, think beyond the casserole. An arranged salad offers flexibility, allowing diners to pick and choose from a platter filled with an abundant supply of veggies, fish and hard boiled eggs. A sprinkling of fresh herbs and spicy vinaigrette create a hyper flavor experience everyone will enjoy.

Serves: 6 to 8
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes to roast potatoes and about 10 minutes for salmon

1 ½ pounds (1 ½ -inch long) fingerling potatoes, about 15
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus ¼ cup for vinaigrette
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
½ pound medium fresh asparagus spears, about 16
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed, about 16
1 medium lemon juiced, about 3 tablespoons
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced, about 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Miso paste
1 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
1 (1-pound) salmon fillet
4 large eggs, hard boiled, peeled and cut into quarters
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons chopped fresh watercress
Heat the oven to 400°. Place the potatoes onto a baking sheet with lip. Toss with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Roast until the potatoes are soft and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Blanch the asparagus spears in the water until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Place the Brussels spouts into the boiling water and blanch until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to an ice water bath.
Place the lemon juice, shallot, mustard, honey, miso and Chinese Five spice into a blender. With the machine running, pour in ¼ cup olive oil.
Place the salmon onto a baking sheet coated with vegetable oil spray. Brush 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the fish. Roast until the fish remains rare in the center, about 8 minutes per inch of thickness.
Assemble the salad by placing the salmon in the center of a large platter. Arrange the potatoes, asparagus and Brussels sprouts around the salmon. Place hard boiled egg slices and tomato wedges alongside. Sprinkle with watercress and additional coarse black pepper. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the top.

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