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One stretch of warm weather—by which I mean 60-degrees—and I’m already cranking out salads for every meal! With the balmy temps and sunny skies, my thoughts have turned to lighter cuisine airing on the cleansing side. Nothing tastes better than a big entree-size salad after a long winter of warming, hearty foods.
Last week I posted about greens and how they are such a delicious facet of spring. Shortly after I wrote that post I came up with the recipe for this salad featuring a tender mix of baby greens as the base. Use whatever blend of greens you like or that are in season. I made the salad with a few handfuls of spicy baby arugula, some tender spinach, and a little bit of romaine for some crunch.
Regarding the fish for this salad, feel free to use whatever is available and suits your tastes. I used tuna steaks, which I marinated in a splash of orange juice, olive oil, orange zest, and black pepper and then grilled. I’m eager to make this salad again with wild salmon or halibut, both of which I prefer over tuna but just didn’t have around at the time I first made the recipe. Of course, if you’re not much of a fish eater you could certainly swap in grilled chicken as well. But with spring on it’s way and, yes, even summer not far off, my tastebuds are asking for the light but satisfying flavor of fresh fish these days.
The dressing here is just your basic vinaigrette sweetened up a bit with some orange juice and made a tad crunchy with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a salad is over-dressed—in other words, swimming around in a gallon of dressing on the plate. So if the dressing here doesn’t seem like enough to you, that’s why. I air on the side of less when I dress things, especially vegetables, since I like to taste the flavor of the actual ingredient being dressed and not just a plateful of dressing. But if you prefer a more heavily dressed salad, I give you permission to double the dressing recipe and douse on as much as your heart desires. I’ll never know.
Grilled Fish and Baby Green Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing – Serves 4
For the salad:
7-8 cups mixed baby greens such as arugula, spinach, and romaine
3/4 – 1 lb. firm fish such as cod, halibut, tuna or salmon, grilled or broiled and flaked into bite-sized chunks
1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 medum red onion, thinly sliced into rounds or half-moons
1 avocado, diced
For the dressing:
2 tbs. olive oil
Juice of 1/2 large orange
1 tbs. red or white wine vinegar
1 tbs. sesame seeds
1 tbs. fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Arrange the greens on individual plates or a large platter. Top with the flaked fish, shredded carrot, peas, red onion slices, and avocado cubes.
In a small bowl whisk together all of the dressing ingredients until emulsified. Drizzle evenly over the salad and serve.