16 April 2010

Canadian Chef Cooks up a Slice of Spring with Salmon, Asparagus and Watercress Salad

Salmon, Asparagus and Watercress Salad

If you have been following More Than Burnt Toast you will know I started a bi-weekly feature to highlight Canadian Chefs in 2009. This year I continue on this journey to bring you all that Canada has to offer in the renowned culinary world!!! Through your TV networks, or perhaps on other blogs, or even just right here on More Than Burnt Toast you may have heard of some of our Canadian chefs. For those of you who haven't, I hope you will find it interesting to see what our chefs are up to, a little about their history and how they came to love what they do. For the next few months I will continue to feature one of our Canadian chefs. There will be some chefs you have heard of and adore and some lesser known who are "up and coming". Some are not even chefs at all, but just Canadians who are passionate about what they do!! It's time to beef up the action and present the fourteenth installment in my Canadian Chef series. I introduce you to:

Kary Osmond

Kary Osmond is the face of Canadian Living magazine on the CBC's brand new daily cooking show, Best Recipes Ever. Each show has a theme, such as Soup for Dinner or Best Three Appetizers. She chooses dishes from Canadian Livings 30-year-old recipe library Tested Till Perfect. On the show Kari is the ambassador of back-to-basics food teaching home cooks from coast to coast how to prepare the very best of Canadian Living magazine.

Kari grew up in a home where cooking was like breathing. Her parents owned a Ukrainian delicatessen and catering business in Mississauga, Ontario, where her passion for food developed. It was natural for her to help out as she chopped vegetables and roll Swedish meatballs. Almost everything they did revolved around food.  From a young age Kary became responsible for getting dinner on the table each night which honed her skills and cemented her love for cooking.

As with many of us she tried her hand at corporate life with a career in marketing but found herself daydreaming about Key Lime Pie when she was supposed to be developing pie charts. She decided to pursue her culinary dream and  trained at the prestigious  George Brown College Chef School in Toronto. Kary chose courses in ethnic cooking and opted for classes in food theory to learn the “whys” of cooking.

After finishing her training, she quickly landed a head chef position at a popular Toronto restaurant where she got hands-on experience developing recipes and menus for brunch, lunch and dinner. On the side, she planned a website for beginner cooks. She posted a temporary page showing her picture and biography and a recruiter from CBC came across it and asked her to come in for an audition.

 Recipes from Canadian Living magazine are the type that you would make for your family and friends on a daily basis. No exotic or hard-to-find ingredients...just delicious, simple basic food. The salad dressing  here combines buttermilk with a touch of mayonnaise for that creamy taste with far less fat. Capers, fresh parsley and green onion make this a perfect salad topping for greens that in turn are topped with barbecued salmon. It is like salmon with a caper sauce on steroids.

What a no-fuss way to enjoy seasonal ingredients!!!

**Salmon, Asparagus and Watercress Salad**
based on a recipe from Canadian Living magazine

4 skinless centre-cut salmon fillets, (about 6 oz/175 g each)

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
2 tablespoons(25 mL) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) each salt and pepper
4 cups(1 L) trimmed watercress
4 cups (1 L) torn Boston leaf lettuce
4 lemon wedges


1/4  cup(50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1/4 (50 mL)  buttermilk
2 tablepoons(25 mL) mayonnaise
2 teaspoons(10 mL)chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons  (10 mL) each chopped green onion
2 teaspoons (10 mL)  drained caper
1 teaspoon(5 mL) white wine vinegar
1 pinch each salt and pepper

Brush salmon and asparagus with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and grill, turning once, until fish flakes easily when tested and asparagus is tender, 7 to 10 minutes.

Dressing: Meanwhile, in large bowl, whisk parsley, buttermilk, mayonnaise, green onion, capers, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add watercress, lettuce and radishes; toss to coat.

Divide salad, salmon, asparagus and lemon wedges among plates.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. That is a delightful salad! So fresh and tasty!



  2. Spring inspires the best salads! Love the combo of ingredients in this one. Thanks for being my "salad muse" ;D

  3. Great looking salad! So perfect for Spring!

  4. I love recipes with layers of flavors such as this. I'll be trying this one and look forward to more of your series!
    xoxo Pattie

  5. The time for saladas is here at last.. farewell soups and potages and welcome spring. THis one looks delicious.

  6. Vall I love salmon foe ever and ever and this look awesome, love your plate too! gloria

  7. I love learning about new chefs, even if I'm not Canadian! This looks delicious. Salmon is my all-time favorite!

  8. This salad sounds incredible! Spring is definitely a great time to experiment with salads.

  9. the pinky-orange on green is so vibrant and lovely! this would be what i call a happy salad. :)

  10. Spring really brings out the best in salads! I love this combo Val...very healthy and filling too!

  11. Yum, what a scrumptious salad. As the weather warms up I start adding salads to the menu and this will be at the top of the list. Salmon and asparagus are a perfect duo.

  12. I like Canadian Living magazine. I have been reading it for years and have pulled out a few pages to keep the recipes.

  13. Yum! I could see this salad being on my table since it combines salad and main course all in one! What a deal!

  14. What a great looking salad and I love the plate! Very nice!

  15. That is a beautiful Spring salad!

  16. What a lovely salad Val. I wish we could find watercress in our market in the mountains. They don't carry it because it apparently goes bad fast and they end up having to throw some of it away. A real shame. We could always get watercress in the the Bahamas - go figure. It had to come over from Florida on the boat and it didn't go bad.


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