This Mediterranean salmon salad is an interesting combination of part green salad and part pasta salad, neither of which overwhelm nor dominate the other. Flaking the salmon allows a rather small amount of fish to go a long way in this recipe, which is nice if you consider the price of fresh fish today. Other kinds of seafood such as crabmeat, chopped shrimp, and grouper would work equally well if you wish to stay on the seafood theme. Or I know I would like this salad with chunks of white chicken.
Have you ever forgotten an ingredient in a recipe and found it worked better without it? That’s exactly what happened here. The first time we made this salad I completely forgot to garnish it with the feta cheese. As I downloaded the pictures I noticed something was missing and discovered it was the cheese. A few days later we made the salad again and to our surprise, we thought the cheese dominated the salad and was better without it. Mistakes sometimes work out for the best and it’s your choice as to whether to include the feta or not.
Salmon is on the menu frequently at our house so instead of cooking the salmon especially for this salad, we used left-over broiled salmon. In the instructions below I’ve included my tried and true method of how to broil salmon that works perfectly every time. Using left-over salmon works great and it makes putting together the recipe go even faster, but just be sure to let the salmon come to room temperature. Don’t be tempted to leave out the red bell pepper. It gives the salad a nice crunch. As summer approaches, this salad is perfect for a main course lunch or a light dinner.
Mediterranean Salmon Salad
Adapted from My Recipes, serves 4
2 (6 ounce) salmon fillets, about 1” thick in the middle
Grape seed oil, or other neutral tasting oil
Freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup uncooked orzo
2 cups torn baby greens or baby spinach leaves
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup chopped scallions
6 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, optional – I did not use the cheese
Place salmon on a plate, rub with oil, then season with salt, oregano & freshly ground black pepper and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes.
Cook the orzo according to package instructions, omitting the fat if you wish. Drain, rinse and set aside covered while salmon cooks. In the meantime, preheat the broiler.
Arrange the salmon, skin side down, on an unheated sheet pan lined with heavy duty foil for easy clean-up. Place the salmon under the broiler about six to seven inches from the source of heat. Broil 8 to 10 minutes or just until the pieces are cooked through. It is not necessary to turn the salmon. If salmon starts to get too crispy on the top, change from broil to bake and bake at 400 degrees until done. Do not overcook or the salmon will be dry. Allow to rest for a few minutes, then flake with two forks, leaving behind the skin to discard.
To assemble the salad, combine the drained orzo, lettuce, flaked salmon and remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. Garnish with crumbled feta cheese if using.
This will be shared with Foodie Friday at Rattlebridge Farm, Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen Full Plate Thursday, and Foodie Friday at Simple Recipes.