|Bakes Salmon Nicoise Salad|
Getting back to the purpose of this post and an explanation about why I need to be in better shape and run faster. While we were walking along the pathway on our hike we were confronted by a bear as we rounded a corner. I am not one to exaggerate and say I caught a 100 pound salmon, so, when I say this was a very large brown bear you can be assured I am telling the truth. In the Spring in this province it is wise to make noise if you are walking along the trails and we felt inclined to take along a Tupperware container from the car from our picnic lunch. My friend made lots of noise and I just tried to look big while our hearts were shrinking and the bear went up the embankment. You have never seen 2 old ladies run so fast in your entire life...faster than a speeding bullet, able to reach tall buildings at a single bound.... only to find that when we reached the road the bear was then following us. We ran some more. Now my friend does marathons and me..............NOT SO MUCH.
The good thing is that we saw a bear. The bad thing is he was blocking our path and we could see his breath. The good thing is he wasn't behind us on the path thus blocking our exit (escape route). The good thing is that he was a brown bear and not a black or a grizzly bear who can be much more aggressive. I have never gotten it quite straight on whether you are supposed to make yourself look as large as possible or to "play dead" since it depends on the type of bear (the problem is I always get conflicting reports as well). The bad thing is he wasn't a rare kermode bear for whom I would have stopped to take a photo. Bad thing is I can't run fast enough!!!!Good thing is we're still here to tell the tale. The bad thing is we had to wait until we reached the city to go to the washroom:D The good thing is that in Salmon Arm the Grebes are there for a week which are waterfowl who put on quite the mating dance that matched our "potty" dance. For those of you who are my age you will understand:D
So in a few moments I will be out walking with my poles. That is also a good thing.
So in keeping with this whole active and healthy lifestyle thing a few days ago I tried a recipe from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa herself. I replaced the green beans or haricots vert with seasonal asparagus, but basically didn't change a thing. This is a recipe that we always enjoy eating al fresco and tend to make often once the scorchingly hot weather arrives. It is also perfect for picnics. The recipe asks you to bake the salmon but you could just as easily grill it for amazing results.
Living in a semi dessert area we do need this rain but if it could stay sunny for today that would be a good thing. I am headed out the door now.....where's those poles...ahhh yes....still in the car after all the excitement. Some things never change.
Addendum: Before I move on to the recipe I received an e-mail with some sad news this morning. Please take a moment to visit Maria's blog The Goddess's Kitchen, She was a dear friend of one of our own Rosie (Jules) of Baking Cakes Galore, you may also remember her as Rosie Bakes a "Peace" of Cake and Sweet and Simple Bakes. The blogging world has lost a kindred spirit and a true friend.
**Roasted Salmon Nicoise Platter**
recipe by Ina Garten
4 lemons, zested and juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 pounds skin-on fresh salmon fillets
3 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes
1 1/2 pounds haricots verts, stems removed ( I used asparagus)
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges (6 small tomatoes)
12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut in 1/2
1 bunch watercress or arugula
1/2 pound large green olives, pitted
1 can anchovies, optional
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup good olive oil
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
For the marinade, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, mustard, garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt and 1/2 tablespoon pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
Place the salmon on a sheet pan that has been covered in aluminum foil, and drizzle the marinade over the salmon. Allow the salmon to sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot off the heat and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Leave the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender but firm. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them in thick slices and set aside.
Place the salmon in the oven and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, or until it is almost cooked through. Remove to a plate and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Remove the skin and break into large pieces.
Blanch the haricots verts in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1 1/2 minutes only. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of ice water. Drain again and set aside.
For the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Set aside.
Arrange the salmon, potatoes, haricots verts, tomatoes, eggs, watercress, olives and anchovies, if used, on a large flat platter. Drizzle some vinaigrette over the fish and vegetables and serve the rest in a pitcher on the side.
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