Southwestern Salmon Salad

by Gavan on July 10, 2009

Southwestern Salmon Salad

A little while ago I had asked if anyone had any requests for recipes. Our buddy, Robb, wanted to know how to cook fish on the grill the healthy way (meaning NOT the fish & butter foil packet idea, the one way he knows well). Our favorite tiny person, Grace, had a request for a healthy summer-inspired lunch idea, other than the obvious choice of leftovers and Robyn wanted to know why she has paprika in her spice rack. All excellent requests so thanks guys! I hope I killed two three birds with one stone with this idea!

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks:

Believe it or not, there are several types of paprika ranging from mild and sweet to hot and spicy. OK, I hear you, Robyn–What exactly IS paprika? Paprika is made from ground peppers (think bell peppers or tomato peppers). “Paprika” is actually the name of the spice and any kind of fresh pepper in Hungarian and along with Eastern European foods, paprika is a staple in both their cuisines.
In American cooking it’s usually considered a garnish (think the infamous deviled egg).
But no stranger to the paprika spice are the Spanish, though their version is a smoked sweet Spanish “pimenton”. Pimenton gets its intense flavor because it is dried over wood smoke.
Then there’s the Californian variety, which is mild and sweet. I’m guessing the kind you have in your cupboard is this variety (and is probably way out of date so get yourself and new bottle!) Paprika has a limited shelf life and should be kept out of direct sunlight and in an airtight container.
If you’re like me you might have two bottles labeled, “Sweet Paprika” and just “Paprika”. The difference? By the smell and taste (and according to some other sites), the stuff is the same.

Ready to try it now?

Paprika Salmon Paprika Salmon

RECIPE:
Serves 4

4 x 4-5oz wild Alaskan salmon fillets (boneless, skinless)

Salmon Rub:
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 lemon – juiced

Salad Ingredients:
4 cups baby spinach – raw
3 Roma tomatoes – diced
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup brown rice – cooked
1 cup black beans
2 tbsp fresh basil – chopped
1 avocado – sliced

Salad Dressing:
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp Agave / Honey
5 tbsp olive oil
squeeze lemon juice
pinch S&P
Whisk together in small bowl. Taste.

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat barbecue to high heat. Mix salmon rub together in a small mixing bowl and add salmon to coat. You might think that grilling fish directly on the grill is a scary thought, that it will stick like a mofo’, but it won’t if you follow how I do it. Once grill is up to temperature, spray barbecue grate liberally with olive oil spray. Place salmon down directly on grill and don’t touch for 3 minutes. Gently lift up one end of fish to see if it’s a nice golden brown color. If so, gently pick up with tongs and turn over.
Let cook for additional 3-4 minutes or until middle of fish is cooked through and flesh is firm to touch.

TIP: To check if fish is cooked, pierce center of salmon with a small knife then remove and touch your lip with it. If it burns you, you’re good. Pretty good, right?

As fish is cooking begin to assemble salad by layering as follows: Spinach, tomatoes, corn, rice, black beans and avocado.
This is a very rustic family style dish so don’t get too hung up on the layering. Improvise!
Prepare dressing. Can be made ahead.

Once salmon is cooked let rest for 1 minute. Drizzle some (or all) of the dressing over the entire salad and place the salmon on top.
Garnish with fresh chopped basil and squeeze fresh lemon juice and that’s your healthy lunch (or dinner)!

This is a great dish to serve on a buffet or an informal dinner party. Just put the dish on the table and let everyone help themselves. A grill pan works great, too.

OK guys, it’s as easy as that! Keep the requests coming!

Cheers!

All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Robyn July 13, 2009 at 3:30 pm

I just grilled salmon using this recipe…omg-delish! It came out tasting beyond fantastic & I finally successfully learned how to cook fish on the grill (foil-lessly) AND now know what to do with my paprika! You rock.

MB July 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Fabulous! I would never have thought to use Paprika! Now I will!! Thank you G!!

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