Triple Green Salad with Smoked Tuna

I have to tell you about the salad I made last night.  My original intention was just to throw together something healthy, not necessarily outstanding or blog-worthy.  As soon as I took my first bite, though, I knew that I would have to share this.

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I haven’t made a salad in a while.  When it’s cold and rainy outside, a plate of raw vegetables just doesn’t appeal to me.  I’m sure many of you can relate.  I think the secrets to this salad’s beauty are the sautéed mushrooms, which add some much-needed warmth, the lick-your-fingers good savory dressing, and the hearty smoked tuna, which I discovered a while back from a small company on the Oregon coast.

tuna

Good News Tuna Company

So good.

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I’m even looking forward to eating the EXACT same thing for dinner tonight.  I hope you enjoy it too!

Triple Green Salad with Smoked Tuna
serves 1

6-7 crimini mushrooms, washed with stems removed and sliced
1 cup dandelion greens, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 Tbsp butter
pinch of salt
a few handfuls baby spinach
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, washed and dried
a few tablespoons of Duma Dressing (see recipe below)

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Reduce heat to medium, cover with a lid, and continue to sautee while you prepare the rest of the salad.  Check on it and stir it occasionally.

Place spinach and parsley in a large bowl.  Make dressing, pour a generous amount onto greens and toss to coat.  Place on a large dinner plate.

Add dandelion greens to mushrooms on stovetop.  Heat, covered, for about 2 minutes until beginning to wilt.  Place the mixture on top of the plated greens.

Flake about 4 oz tuna over everything.  Enjoy.

Duma Dressing
makes about 2 cups (you can keep in fresh in the refrigerator for up to 1 week)
adapted from Get It Ripe by Jae Steele

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
small handful of pumpkin seeds

Place all ingredients in a food processor or high speed blender.  Blend on high for about 30 seconds until smooth.

I shared this post with this week’s Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Full Plate Thursday, and Keep It Real Thursday.

Sardine Rillettes

I am so excited to share this recipe with you today!  I know, I know…sardines.  I have to admit that this little fish came into my life only recently and with some hesitation on my part.  I knew that sardines were supposed to be one of the safest and most sustainable seafood choices on the market.  I also was aware that they were one of the best sources of healthy Omega-3 fatty acids available.  And compared to wild Alaskan salmon (another healthy and sustainable option), they are a steal.  But, still, I wasn’t sure I was ready to venture into sardine territory.

Then, canned sardines went on sale at the grocery store and I decided it was now or never.  I bought 2 cans.  The first can was used to make fisherman’s eggs, which is basically a hot dish of sardines topped with baked eggs.  It was pretty good, but I can’t say I was completely won over.  The sardine rillettes won me over.  Think of it as a pate that you can serve on crackers or toast.  It’s deliciously creamy with little bites of shallots and herbs and a nice briny flavor from the sardines.  A little bit of lemon juice freshens everything up.  That’s the fancy description.  Another way to think of the taste is that it’s kind of like tuna salad, all grown up.

I enjoyed mine spread generously on some gluten-free multi-grain bread from a local bakery.  It’s also nice to have a little sprinkle of fleur de sel for the top and perhaps some pickled vegetables (I used some peperoncini but there are probably better options).

And so, I would like to present to you…sardines that I think you will like!

Sardine Rillettes
makes about 1/2 cup
adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients
– One 4.3 oz can sardines, packed in olive oil (I used Wild Planet brand)
– 1/3 cup cream cheese
– 1 shallot, finely minced
– 1 scallion, finely chopped, white and light green parts only
– juice from half a lemon
– about a tsp each of fresh chives and parsley, finely chopped

Place all ingredients except sardines in to a bowl and mix with a spoon until smooth.

Remove tails from sardines, if necessary.  Split them down the center and remove the backbone.  Note: While I’ve learned that I like the taste of sardines, I can’t say the same about their smell on my hands hours after I’ve eaten them.  Try to avoid getting too much oil on your hand to avoid this problem.  Or you could use gloves if you have some.

Add sardines to cream cheese mix.  Using a fork, break them up and stir them in.  Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Herb-Crusted Cod Fillets and Scalloped Potatoes

Why is cooking fish such a scary undertaking?  I don’t know about you, but for me there’s something kind of intimidating about creating a meal that highlights a delicate, flaky piece of fish.  Seafood just seems a bit more gourmet than my everyday fare and when I do decide to cook it, I feel the pressure to make it right.  And that is exactly what I did with this Herb-Crusted Cod.  It came together in no time and was delicious with a side of buttery scalloped potatoes.  It tasted like a fancy, slaving-over-a-hot-stove kind of meal but was actually more of a weeknight, 30-minute success (not promising you can make this is under 30 minutes…I am the world’s slowest chopper of vegetables and so I always take recipe prep time information with a grain of salt).

If you decide to make both of these recipes for dinner (and I suggest you do!), I would suggest that you start by prepping the potatoes and the topping for the fish.  Then, you can start cooking the potatoes, assemble the fish, and let them finish in the oven together.  I used wild alaskan true cod because it was reasonably priced and came in nicely sized fillets.  I think this recipe would work with just about any fish you like, but you might have to adjust the cooking time.  I’d love to see how it turns out with salmon!

Herb-Crusted Cod
serves 4

Ingredients
– 1/4 cup olive oil
– 1/2 cup almond flour (coarsely ground, if you’re making your own)
– 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
– 4 small garlic cloves, minced
– 1/2 tsp cayenne
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 4 skinless cod fillets

1. Preheat the oven to 450.  Lightly grease a baking pan.

2. In a food processor, combine oil, almond flour, parsley, garlic, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Pulse until you have a course mixture.

3. Place the cod fillets in the baking pan and sprinkle with almond flour mixture.  Press down a bit to make it stick as much as possible.

4. Bake in the oven until the tops are lightly browned and fish is cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately

Scalloped Potatoes
serves 4

Ingredients
– 2 Tbsp butter, melted
– 1 Tbsp olive oil
– 1 1/2 lb Yukon gold potatoes
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1/3 cup grated swiss cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450.

2. Use a mandoline to thinly slice the potatoes.  In a large bowl, toss with about half the butter and the olive oil.

3. Heat the remaining butter in a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.  Place a layer of overlapping potato slices in the skillet to cover the bottom.

4. Toss the remaining potatoes with grated swiss cheese.  Add to the skillet, press down with a spatula, and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat.

5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, until the top begins to brown.  Cut into slices and serve.

* I added this post to this week’s Melt in Your Mouth MondayHearth and Soul HopFat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Whole Foods Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

Quinoa-Salmon Cakes

Let me tell you how relieved I am to finally be writing this post.  I usually have a list of recipes I want to try and then share with you.  And this week I have been busy trying…and trying…and trying.  Yesterday, there were coconut pancakes that completely flopped.  I made a batch of wonderful potato soup, ate half of it, and then froze the other half to photograph and write my post with.  When I defrosted it, it had the strangest texture I’ve ever seen in a soup. (Can somebody enlighten me about this?  Should potato soup just never be frozen for later?)  I made not one, but two batches of dehydrated kale chips and ate them so promptly that the camera never had a chance.  So you can imagine my relief last night when I made tasty AND photogenic salmon cakes for dinner.

Served with oven fries and sautéed chard.

I’m going to let you in a secret about saving money on the salmon here.  When I was at the fish counter in the grocery store looking over my options, I noticed that the cheapest way to get salmon was in the form of salmon burgers.  I asked about the ingredients (I didn’t want to pay for any “fillers”) and it turns out they were just wild-caught salmon with some herbs and spices.  It was from the exact same fish being sold as steaks and fillets.  I imagine they just use the less perfectly shaped bits to make the burgers.  So if you don’t mind having a little less control over the seasonings included in your patties, you can always look for this option.  Or you could buy canned salmon.

To learn more about safe and environmentally-friendly fish choices, have a look at this quick guide from the Environmental Defense Fund.  It rates fish based on sustainability and levels of mercury or PCBs.

Quinoa-Salmon Patties
makes 6 patties
adapted from the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen 

Ingredients
– 2 Tbs fresh chives
– 1 large handful cilantro
– zest from 1 lemon
– 1 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp cayenne
– 1 lb wild salmon (skinned and de-boned if necessary)
– 1 cup cooked quinoa
– 1-2 Tbs olive oil

1.  In a food processor with an “S” blade, pulse herbs and spices several times until minced.

2. Add salmon and quinoa and pulse together until evenly mixed.  Form into patties and set aside.

3. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet.  Add salmon patties (I could only fit 3 at a time) and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and cooked through.

* This post is part of the Weekend Gourmet Blog Carnival, Melt in Your Mouth Monday, Real Food 101, Fat Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Traditional Tuesday, Hearth and Soul Hop, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Real Food Wednesday, and Monday Mania.