Honey-Glazed Salmon with Tzatziki Over Dressed Greens

Salmon with TzazikiWild caught Atlantic salmon is a tasty, healthy fish to include in your diet. It’s loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids, has a mild flavor, and can carry a glaze or sauce. I originally developed this recipe using maple syrup, but my honey gives a tender sweetness to the glaze. Try it with both and decide what you like. In our house, honey got the vote.

Fresh SalmonHoney-Glazed Salmon with Tzatziki

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2# skin-on salmon, 1” thick, cut into four pieces
  • ⅓C honey
  • 3T Bragg’s cider vinegar
  • 1T dijon mustard
  • 1T soy sauce
  • 1T EVOO
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½t black pepper

Directions: In a small bowl, combine the honey, vinegar, mustard, soy sauce, EVOO, garlic and pepper. Place the fish in shallow bowl (or ziploc baggie). Pour the glaze over the fish and marinate for at least an hour, or overnight in the refrigerator. Turn the fish from time to time to make sure it gets covered evenly with the marinade. Remove the salmon from the marinade onto a plate, then pour the marinade into a small saucepan. Heat the marinade on medium-high heat, bring it to a low boil, and reduce by half. This may take about 10 minutes. The marinade with darken a bit, then get thick as it reduces. Take reduction off the heat. Grill the salmon, basting with the reduced marinade. Fish cooks rather quickly, roughly 10 minutes an inch.

I served the salmon with a dollop of my tzatziki (see below for recipe) over a bed of field greens with arugula dressed with a honey herb vinaigrette (see below for recipe). Tzatziki is a great party dip or sauce for fish. It’s so simple to make, but full of fresh flavor.

Tzaziki

Tzatziki

Makes 2½ Cups

Ingredients:

  • 2C full fat, plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 mini English cucumbers, chopped in small dice (about ½-¾C)
  • 2T minced, fresh dill
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or grated on a microplane
  • ½t sea salt

Directions: In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients. Let sit for half an hour for the flavors to marry. Enjoy with fish, as a dip for vegetables, or with corn chips. Will keep one week in the refrigerator.

Honey Herb Vinaigrette

Makes 2¼ Cups

Ingredients:

  • ⅔C EVOO
  • ½C Champagne Vinegar
  • ¼C local honey
  • ¼C Dijon mustard
  • 2T fresh tarragon, minced
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions: In a large bowl combine the Champagne vinegar, honey, and mustard. Slowly whisk in the EVOO to form an emulsion. Add in the tarragon, sea salt and pepper to taste. Will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator.

Panzanella

Panzanella

Feeling like summer is slipping away? Go to the market or run to your garden or farm stand and pick up 2 pounds of rosy plum tomatoes (organic San Marzano if you can find them) and make this salad. This recipe keeps you in the summer kind of mood regardless of the weather outside. Serve it with a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio and you have summer on a plate.

The croutons are key; crispy, savory, and chewy bread goodness. Make them yourself from a loaf of crusty bread – the salad just won’t taste the same if you use pre-made croutons. They take minutes to make and homemade are sooooo much better. You’ll have a hard time not noshing through them before they get tossed with the salad. I probably ate about a cup of them before tossing them in the salad.

Croutons

Panzanella Salad

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2# organic plum tomatoes, seeded & chopped
  • ½ red onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 6C garlic croutons – (¾ of a French boule, ¼C EVOO, 1tsp garlic powder, salt & pepper)
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • ¼C EVOO
  • sea salt and pepper
  • Optional Garnish: Parmesan cheese, freshly shaved

Directions for croutons: Preheat oven to 375°.

Slice ¾ of a crusty boule into rough ½” cubes (about 6 cups). Place the bread cubes into a very large bowl and drizzle with the EVOO, tossing as you drizzle so that the bread chunks don’t become soggy, but get evenly coated in olive oil. Sprinkle the garlic powder over the bread and toss a couple times. Grind some sea salt and pepper over the top and give it one last toss. Spread the bread chunks evenly onto a shallow cookie sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes or until nicely browned, tossing the croutons about midway through baking. Remove from the oven to cool. Set aside while you make the salad.

Directions for the salad: In a large serving bowl, combine the chopped plum tomatoes, red onion, basil, ¼C EVOO, and lemon juice. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss the ingredients. Add the croutons and toss the salad again, making sure the lemon dressing coats all the ingredients.

Sprinkle with shaved parmesan cheese if you like. Serve and eat immediately.

Salad

Picnic Time! Pimm’s Cup and Pineapple Chicken Salad

I love summer.  It’s MY time. And, my birthday (and CAKE!) is right smack in the middle of it.

I look forward to summer as soon as the days become noticeably shorter in late October. While some people hate the heat and humidity, I actually like it. Don’t get me wrong, I may occasionally complain if it’s truly oppressive, but the fact that I can throw on a sundress, open all the windows, and head to the beach makes me giddy as a schoolgirl. Since my summers are wide open (I’m a teacher) I spend most of my time outdoors.

Summer food means lighter fare and picnicking outdoors! Summer’s bounty is being harvested, the backyard grills are smoking, and the cocktails are lighter and prepared with in-season fruit. Deciding on WHAT to bring on a picnic is always a dilemma. Should it be a selection of cheeses and wine or salads and cocktails? Fried chicken? Or, should we just go pick up lobster rolls and a bag of chips? In the end, the food tastes amazing when you’re outdoors. Here’s what I brought to an outdoor concert at Castle Hill, along with a selection of hard and soft cheeses. Pimm’s Cup is an old English summer cocktail. It’s refreshing and beautiful. Eat the fruit!

Pimm’s Cup 

Makes a pitcher to share with friends

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of Pimms No.1
  • 2 liter bottle of lemon-lime soda or Ginger-Ale
  • 2 navel oranges, peeled, seeded, and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 pint of organic strawberries, chopped into small pieces (they’re on the Dirty Dozen – buy organic)
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, and chopped into small pieces
  • handful of fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

Directions: Toss the fruit and mint leaves in the pitcher. Add the Pimms and give it a good stir. Let sit a few minutes and add enough of the lemon-lime soda to your taste. Refrigerate.  Serve in a double old-fashioned glass (or clear, plastic cup) with lots of ice and a spoonful of the fruit mixture.

Cheers!

Pimms Cup

Pineapple Chicken Salad

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3# chicken breast, grilled, cooled, and chopped
  • 2C cooked wild and long grain rice blend (Uncle Ben’s is best)
  • 1C fresh pineapple chunks (use canned if you can’t find fresh; reserve the juice)
  • ⅔C pineapple juice
  • ½C champagne or white wine vinegar
  • ¾C EVOO
  • 1½t sea salt
  • 1t sugar
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • ¼C fresh tarragon, minced
  • ¾C scallions, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1C slivered almonds

Directions: Cook the rice according to package directions. Cool rice completely. Make the pineapple vinaigrette by combing the pineapple juice, vinegar, sugar, salt and fresh grind of pepper in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle the EVOO to create an emulsion. You can use a blender, hand mixer, or a whisk to do this.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled rice, grilled chicken, tarragon, scallions, celery, and almonds in a large serving bowl. Add three-quarters of the vinaigrette and toss. Season to taste. If you like a drier salad, leave it as is. If you are refrigerating the salad overnight and the rice absorbs all the dressing you should add the remainder of the dressing.

Rice Salad