Thank the good Lord for dinners that you don’t have to put together from scratch……and just because they’re made from “leftovers” doesn’t mean that they have to be boring, or even the same thing you just ate.
Remember this happy little piece of salmon from the other night? The cute guy on the right with just a little bit of EVOO, salt and pepper?
Well, for this dinner, he’s front and center.
Now, I have a confession to make. This whole combo of flavors and ingredients for this meal is not my original creation; I got the idea after eating a very similar salad at Panera this past summer. But, it’s only served seasonally, and after making a special trip there just to order that salad and finding out it wasn’t on the menu and having a mini-meltdown, I thought it would be a good idea to make my own. So this is my take on it, from what I remember.
So, you gotta start out with some lettuce for a salad, right? If I had the time to pick up some fresh field greens, I would have gone with those. But alas, life happens, and after an emergency trip to the vet for my poor little Zelda who hit her eye, it didn’t happen. I always have romaine hearts in my fridge, so I knew I would still be okay.
Another confession- I absolutely hate washing and drying off lettuce. Abhor it. Almost as much as I hate buying the pre-washed and chopped lettuce in a bag that goes slimy in 2 days and having to throw it out and wasting my money. So, while I may not own tons of fancy cooking gadgets, I do own a cheap salad spinner which I absolutely love.
So once I have my nice clean lettuce that’s been torn into bite-sized pieces, I can start to adorn my green foundation: I have here 1/2 of my cooked piece of salmon,chopped walnuts, feta cheese, red onion, mandarin orange sections, kalamata olives (the purple ones), and some croutons. I can say with certainty that there were no croutons on the Panera version, but I love croutons and will add them to pretty much any green salad I am having if at all humanly possible.
So now to assemble a citrus vinaigrette! I started with a good splash of orange juice (maybe 1/4 cupish, if you’re measuring), a spoonful of dijon mustard, a pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, and whisked in some extra virgin olive oil until it looked and tasted like a dressing. If I had a fresh orange, that juice along with some of the zest would have been wonderful, but it was fine with the orange juice I already had at home.
Fancy shmancy chefs will say that you should toss your salad with the dressing in a bowl before serving. I say, eat your salad the way you want. Often times, I will toss everything together before serving as opposed to pouring the dressing on top of everything, but I didn’t want to toss my salmon and have it break up into lots of little pieces. So, I went for the pour on top method here.
Looks pretty. Tastes yummy. Healthy, AND super quick to put together, because I took a little extra time when I was making dinner for the night before. All reasons this is a winner for me!