When I looked at Reader favorites for 2016, I was surprised at how popular the garden themed posts were. So I have been working on adding more gardening content on the blog. I had visions of hanging whimsical molded bird treats in fun shapes for our feathery friends during winter. Well, they kind of fell apart…and seemed to be attracting squirrels instead of birds even with my I-thought-I-was-being-clever addition of cayenne to the birdseed mix! So I am not going to be posting that idea!
So another recipe it is! No matter the season, I live on salads and love them. I try to choose seasonal ingredients but come winter, that is so much harder to do. This gorgeous salad boasts grapefruit in segments and in the simple dressing. It serves up heart healthy salmon and avocado with thinly sliced winter veggies, fennel and radishes, on a bed of tender hydroponic Bibb lettuce. If you have one, work with a mandoline to get the vegetables paper thin. Using left over salmon cuts down on the prep time. Cook the salmon any way you like it: poached, grilled, oven-roasted or pan fried. Sprinkle it with your favorite spice rub(I like a chili spice rub with a bit of kick and grilling it on a cedar plank), bring it to room temperature and squeeze half a lemon over it before flaking it into bite size pieces. Sticking to your New Year goals of eating more healthfully won’t be a sacrifice with this delicious salad.
To assemble: Spread 1 head of torn Bibb lettuce on a platter. Top with the salmon (about 16 oz ), 1 fennel bulb, cored, white part only, thinly shaved, 4 thinly sliced radishes, 1/4 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley, 2 avocados, peeled and sliced, the segments of a large Ruby Red grapefruit, peeled, pith and membranes removed. Work on a plate while segmenting the grapefruit to collect any juice which you will be using in the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the arils of half a pomegranate and chopped fennel fronds, if you like them. Omit if you don’t. I’ve made it both ways and it is delicious either way. Serves 4.
For the dressing: Dice a shallot or 1/4 cup of red onion. Place in a mixing jar. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon, add any grapefruit juice you have collected while working, and top with a good quality olive oil so you have a little more oil than juice. I love adding a Meyer Lemon-infused olive oil that I get in Philadelphia’s Italian Market at Cardena’s. Infused oils add so much flavor. Plain is fine too. Add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper and shake. Dress the salad and enjoy the burst of fresh citrus to wake up your winter palate!
Had to share this beautiful scene by a Norwegian artist I have just discovered and fallen in love with, Asta Nørregaard: