Salmon Salad: Quinoa and Dijon Dressing

with Chef Robert Larios
Photography by Patricia M. Larios

It’s a difficult task to find healthy dishes that are full of flavor. But this salmon salad will make the search easy because it’s heart-healthy and gluten free. Add to that it’s delicious and super easy to put on a plate.

While working in the Larios kitchen to test the recipe, I found a few things that will help you when you make it on your own. First, you may halibut or scallops instead of salmon you prefer them or they’re in the market. Second, feel free to use a dressing other than the Dijon-extra olive oil mix. A little goes a long way. And third, feel free to use any other leafy green of your choice instead of the baby kale.

¡Buen provecho!



RECIPE: Salmon Salad: Quinoa and Dijon Dressing

 ¼ cup rainbow quinoa
 1 organic red onion
 2 oz organic baby turnips
 2 wild Alaskan skin-on salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each)
 1 organic lemon
 ¼ cup Dijon dressing base (mix in bowl Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil). Add a pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
 ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
 6 oz organic baby kale or other leafy greens

1

Step 1: Cook the Quinoa

Rinse the quinoa.

In a small saucepot, combine the quinoa and a half-cup water, lightly salted if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.

While the quinoa cooks, prepare the rest of the meal.

2

Step 2: Prep and Cook the Onion and Turnips.

Peel and coarsely chop enough onion to measure 1 cup.

Scrub or peel the turnips; trim the ends and cut the turnips in half.

In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 to 2 teaspoons oil until hot but not smoking. Stir in the onion, season with salt, if desired, and pepper, and cook until starting to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Move the onion to one side of the pan. To the other side of the pan, add the turnips, cut sides down, season with salt, if desired, and cook, undisturbed, until lightly browned and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the onion to a plate. Transfer the turnips to a cutting board to cool slightly, then cut into quarter-inch-thick wedges.

While the onion and turnips cook, start preparing the seafood.

3

Step 3: Prep and Cook the Seafood.

Pat the fish dry with a paper towel; season lightly with salt, if desired, and pepper.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 to 3 teaspoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the fish (skin side down for the salmon) and cook until lightly browned (and the salmon skin is crisp), 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook until the flesh is opaque and flaky, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly, then using a fork, flake the fish into bite-size pieces (discarding the salmon skin if desired).

While the fish cooks, prepare the dressing.

4

Step 4: Make the Dressing; Assemble the Salad.

Zest and juice the lemon, keeping the zest and juice separate. Set aside the zest for garnish.

In a small bowl, stir together the Dijon dressing base, 1 tablespoon plus one-and-a-half teaspoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, and as much cayenne as you like. Season with salt, if desired, and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss together the kale, onion, turnips, seafood, and quinoa. Season with salt, if desired, and pepper.

5

Serve.

Transfer the salad to individual bowls and drizzle with as much Dijon dressing as you like. Garnish with the lemon zest and serve any remaining dressing on the side.

Ingredients

 ¼ cup rainbow quinoa
 1 organic red onion
 2 oz organic baby turnips
 2 wild Alaskan skin-on salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each)
 1 organic lemon
 ¼ cup Dijon dressing base (mix in bowl Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil). Add a pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper
 ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
 6 oz organic baby kale or other leafy greens

Directions

1

Step 1: Cook the Quinoa

Rinse the quinoa.

In a small saucepot, combine the quinoa and a half-cup water, lightly salted if desired. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork, cover, and keep warm.

While the quinoa cooks, prepare the rest of the meal.

2

Step 2: Prep and Cook the Onion and Turnips.

Peel and coarsely chop enough onion to measure 1 cup.

Scrub or peel the turnips; trim the ends and cut the turnips in half.

In a medium frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 to 2 teaspoons oil until hot but not smoking. Stir in the onion, season with salt, if desired, and pepper, and cook until starting to soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Move the onion to one side of the pan. To the other side of the pan, add the turnips, cut sides down, season with salt, if desired, and cook, undisturbed, until lightly browned and tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the onion to a plate. Transfer the turnips to a cutting board to cool slightly, then cut into quarter-inch-thick wedges.

While the onion and turnips cook, start preparing the seafood.

3

Step 3: Prep and Cook the Seafood.

Pat the fish dry with a paper towel; season lightly with salt, if desired, and pepper.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 to 3 teaspoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the fish (skin side down for the salmon) and cook until lightly browned (and the salmon skin is crisp), 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook until the flesh is opaque and flaky, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool slightly, then using a fork, flake the fish into bite-size pieces (discarding the salmon skin if desired).

While the fish cooks, prepare the dressing.

4

Step 4: Make the Dressing; Assemble the Salad.

Zest and juice the lemon, keeping the zest and juice separate. Set aside the zest for garnish.

In a small bowl, stir together the Dijon dressing base, 1 tablespoon plus one-and-a-half teaspoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, and as much cayenne as you like. Season with salt, if desired, and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss together the kale, onion, turnips, seafood, and quinoa. Season with salt, if desired, and pepper.

5

Serve.

Transfer the salad to individual bowls and drizzle with as much Dijon dressing as you like. Garnish with the lemon zest and serve any remaining dressing on the side.

Salmon Salad: Quinoa and Dijon Dressing

Cooking TIDBIT

If turnips are not available or you are uncomfortable with cooking with it, use carrots, yams, or sweet potatoes. Red potatoes is also an alternative.

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