Category Archives: Salads

Seared Salmon Salad with Grilled Tomato and Avacado

Summer!

This was another summery grilling inspiration.  I had a hankering for seared salmon and figured to keep it light by having it on a salad with an oil based dressing.  I also decided to spruce up the salad with some methods that I had never tried and some that were truly experimental, but worked out.  This turned out much better than the last post, but we give you the truth here!

First off the primary ingredient, the salmon.

It did have the skin on it and I had an idea of how to get it off.  I have tried to cut it off, but I always feel like I lose so much in the difficult process.

All dressed up and nowhere to go!

I sprinkled a store bought cajun seasoning on the meat side only.

Next was to prep some of the other salad ingredients.  The first was to prep a foil packet of walnuts, sliced garlic, oil, and salt and pepper.

Ready for the grill

I had never roasted walnuts and garlic on the grill like this but it worked out.  This packet went right onto the grill for about 6-8 minutes each side.  The flavors intermingled well and I threw them right on the salad though I know some would be weary to throw the roasted garlic on the salad.  Feel free to discard it or recycle it for another dish, but I think that it worked out well and was not too overpowering.

Post Grill

That was one of the new methods mentioned, the next is also a new method and one that was truly experimental and I was not sure if it would work out.  I sliced 2 tomatoes in half and an avocado in half, sprayed them with a little oil, sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and then……

Whats next?

Probably not a big surprise, but right on the grill face down!

It worked out just fine and I would suggest it and try it again myself!

Maybe a minute or two less next time though

I wasn’t sure how the avocado would fare on the grill and it could have used a minute or two less but I was able to peel away some of the burnt parts sort of like peeling the blistered skin of a roasted red pepper.  I sliced them and added them to the salad.

Back to the salmon.  I was planning to sear it and placed it skin side down first.

Ok, I forgot my plan and put it down meat side for a second.

Once I flipped it after a few minutes, the skin came right off which was the hopeful plan!

Skin came right off. Nice!

Once the salmon was done, I sliced it and put it atop the rest of the salad ingredients.

We used some olive oil and vinegar as a dressing, though much wasn’t needed since there were so many great flavors.

In addition, I threw a little bit of goat cheese on the salad.  The warm salmon and grilled veggies melted it a bit and the creaminess tasted great.  Overall, was a good meal.

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Roasted Corn Salsa Dressing on Peppercorn Steak Salad

This is Greg and this is my first Kitten post!  A teacher has some summer time so you should be seeing me around here more often.  The original idea for this was black and blue steak salad and I decided to really focus on the black part and made a peppercorn rub for the steak.  I used a porterhouse cut of about 1.5 pounds which is not the typical or easiest cut for a steak salad, but they are always on sale at Giant in the summers and was a great deal for some quality meat.  With the trimming off the bone, there were some convenient scraps that had to be tested too.  When grabbing the blue cheese, Gorgonzola was right next to it and I decided to switch up the black and blue philosophy though it is not a major change as they are pretty similar.

Filet on the right!

The rub was just a combination of some dried spices and whole peppercorns that I ground in our spice grinder.  It was very loud at first and I ran it until itwas quieter but not fully ground.  I wanted to keep the peppercorns a bit coarse.

Preground peppercorns and spices
Don’t be afraid to use your hands and get it well covered

It is called a rub because you are supposed to rub it into the meat, so pour half of it on and get to work!  Flip it over and make sure that the whole piece is thoroughly covered. Grill it as you normally would a steak.  If possible, it is best to plan some rest time once the steak is done to allow the juices to set and to allow it a bit of time to cool to cut it and serve on a cold salad.

Where the term blackened comes from

Despite how it looks, the meat was cooked medium rare.  The rub just really blackened it that much.  It did not taste over spiced, again despite it’s appearance.  I let it sit for about a half an hour and sliced it up.  I kept the filet separate to make sure we got fair shares and as mentioned, many samples had to be had while carving it along with cleaning the bone.

Once the steak was sliced, I placed it on a bed or romaine lettuce and applied the salsa/dressing that I was simultaneously making.

Could always stop here and add a premade dressing

I had a hard time naming the dressing because it is sort of a salsa mixture that we used as a dressing.  There were so many important ingredients also that it was hard to focus on a few to give it an identity.  No other dressing was added once we topped the salad with this.  I first wrapped the peeled corn in foil with some butter and salt and pepper and roasted it on the grill for about 45 minutes or so turning once in a while.

Good ol sweet summer white corn
Double wrapped and ready for the grill

While the corn was roasting, I combined the remainder of the ingredients.  The lemon juice, oil, and vinegar tied it together as a dressing consistency which spread well on the salad and held the whole thing together too.

All of the ingredients for the dressing except for the corn

Once the corn was roasted, I let it cool until it could be handled and removed the kernels and mixed it in with the rest.

Apparently the center was on the most intense heat

Once all of the dressing ingredients were combined and well mixed, we used it as you would a normal dressing on the steak salad and sprinkled a little bit of extra Gorgonzola on top and enjoyed.

The final product!

It was sort of a lot of work but was well worth it and we really enjoyed it.  The dressing was so good itself that salad bites without steak were still really fulfilling.  An added bonus was that about half of the steak bites were filet mignon which most would consider a sin to be placed on a salad but the price was so great that it was just fine.  Give some or all of it a try!

Recipe for Roasted Corn Salsa Salad Dressing

Recipe for Peppercorn Rub

Avocado Salad Dressing

One of our friends from college is doing an internship in Maryland for the summer (yay!). He arrived a couple of weeks ago and to celebrate Ashley invited us over for chicken tacos.  I offered to bring a salad, since all I had at home was some produce. I picked up a few extras, such as avocados, and decided to make a homemade salad dressing to jazz things up a bit (making homemade salad dressings is easy and they taste SO much better than store bought!). I wanted to stick to the taco theme and figured an avocado dressing would be fun and different.

This is about the best looking avocado you will find in Wheaton. It was certainly ripe and about a day away from being bad. At least they were ripe though, if not a little too ripe.

Limes are so pretty! I love them. They go hand in hand with avocados in my book and the citrus helps the avocado from turning brown. They also seem to help in the mashing process, as the acidity must break them down a bit.

So, after a good smashing, I added yogurt, half and half (you could use milk or cream if you prefer), garlic, onion, and salt and pepper. Oh, and  a dash of cayenne. The onion was grated- which created an interesting consistency and also left the house smelling like onion for a few hours, FYI. It was almost like onion pulp and helped distribute the flavor evenly and without adding much texture.

I wanted to make a festive salad full of color. I included romaine lettuce, rainbow chard, grape tomatoes, red and yellow bell peppers, and green onions. Twas delicious.

The salad dressing tasted extremely fresh and the flavor was pretty mellow. It lasted for another 1-2 days, but did start to turn brown by that point. It’s probably best served on the day you make it.


Recipe for Avocado Salad Dressing

Taco Salad

This recipe is really easy!

the peppers and onions should be sauteed until soft

We tried to add avocado but the one we had just wasn’t ripe enough 😦 I topped this with a salsa ranch dressing we had in the fridge but you can have it with sour cream, guacamole, or any other dressing you like. Simple, but good.

Recipe for Taco Salad

Seared Tuna Salad

Tonight we made seared tuna salads. We experimented with four different types of rubs/marinades for the tuna steaks. These included soy sauce, crushed black pepper and garlic powder, old bay and mexican chili. They were all delicious in their own right and it was fun to get different flavors with each bite.

raw tuna steaks

The rare tuna steaks

Some serious searing action going on

The four types of tuna, cooked medium-rare

Shredding carrots with the new grater (check out the "storage" container at the bottom)

Seared tuna salad

In terms of what salad dressing to use, I must reccomend the ginger miso dressing by Genji. I don’t know if it’s sold everywhere, but I have found it at Whole Foods in Silver Spring and Rockville. It is SOOOO good.

Recipe for Seared Tuna Salad