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Last Friday, I taught a class called, DESIGN YOUR OWN WHOLE MEAL SALAD, at First Congregational Church of Colorado Springs.  This active church sponsors an excellent Health Ministry with lots of great wellness-promoting features including cooking classes that run from March – October. (If you’d like a copy of the booklet from the class, leave  a note in the comments or email me/message me on fb.)

The class consisted of a couple of favorite salads, Salmon Caprese with Asparagus… (shown below in a bit neater variation than my very quick to fix and eat photo above… along with lots of tips, talk, and helps about making salads a weekly mainstay in your house)…

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and Israeli Couscous Salad, right below here in all its attendant glory. I do love this salad!  Both of them, if the truth be known.  I’d like to have nickel for every time I’ve made either one, but especially the couscous.

We had about 22 hungry, smart women and one budding young chef who listened to my spiel and helped put together the salads so that everyone in the room truly had a free lunch that day.  When I came home, I had a few things leftover–including some salmon–and made  yet another five-minute version of the Salmon Salad. This time, I sautéed a good hefty cup full of chopped broccolini that had been sitting around feeling leftout in my fridge in lieu of the asparagus…and we soon were out on the deck digging in and drinking a California Chard.  (The first real meal out there, by the way. Our May has been cool and rainy.)

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The funny thing about the original salmon salad is that it came about out of leftovers from a big salmon supper when we wanted something besides cold salmon.  (Original meal below/link here: Tinfoil Salmon Supper with Buttered Tomatoes on Brown Rice.)  It’s the old, “Cook once, eat three times” mentality, but it’s getting to the point where we like like the leftover meal almost better than the original.Food-Fish-Salmon w Butter Tomatp Sauce amd Brpwm Roce

I’m not sure which dish you might be happiest with or want to fix first, but I’d like to know, so get back to me.  In the meantime, try this:

SALMON CAPRESE-KALE SALAD WITH Broccolini, Brown Rice and AVOCADO MAYO

3-4 smaller servings  or enough for 2 very hungry people

If you’re making this from scratch, read through to see that you need some cooked brown rice and cooked salmon. I usually make this from some leftovers, but you’ll do as you please, of course, and will surely spend more time around the table.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or more as needed)
  • 1 cup chopped broccolini (or insert your favorite vegetable here!)
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh ground pepper
  • 1 cup leftover rice and tomatoes, optional
  • 3 cups finely chopped kale
  • 2 Lemons-1 cut in half for juicing, the other cut into wedges for garnish
  • 1 4-6 ounce cooked salmon fillet, skin removed, and sliced into about 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 small tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 – 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Avocado mayonnaise  (my recipe below)

1.  In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the chopped asparagus in the oil seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper.  About half-way through the cooking, to one side add the leftover rice and tomatoes from the original meal if you have them; they’re optional.

2. Meanwhile, add kale in a ring 2-3 inches wide around the perimeter or edges of medium serving dish and squeeze half a lemon over the greens. Season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

3. Layer salmon slices, tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil leaves in a circle around the inside perimeter of the kale ring. Season with a little more salt and pepper over the salmon layer.

4. When asparagus is cooked and rice is hot, spoon into center beginning with rice  and topping with asparagus. If using only asparagus, fill the ring as best you can, perhaps squeezing the concentric rings a bit to close any gaps.  Squeeze  more lemon juice over all.  Dress with avocado dressing/aioli. Garnish with lemon wedges.

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AVOCADO MAYO

In a food processor bowl fitted with metal blade, measure 2 tablespoons good-quality white wine vinegar, 2 room-temperature egg yolks, one peeled, seeded, and chopped avocado, a tablespoon or so of minced red onion, and a good pinch each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.  Blend until very smooth. With machine running, slowly drizzle about 1/4 cup each olive and canola oils until the mixture is well-blended or emulsified.  Add a drop or two of hot sauce and stir.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  You might add a little lemon juice if you like.  Use immediately or store, tightly wrapped in fridge for up to one day.

NO FOOD PROCESSOR?  Follow this link for food blogger David Lebovitz’ post on making aioli by hand.  While you’re there, enjoy all of David’s beautiful and always entertaining recipes, photos, and stories from Paris and elsewhere.

DON’T WANT TO MAKE THIS FROM SCRATCH? I’ve never tried this, but while I make the dressing from scratch, you might try simply blending mashed avocados and jarred mayo–add salt, pepper, a little hot sauce, and perhaps lemon juice to taste.  A

COOK’S NOTE:  For Gluten-Free option, please check all purchased items labels for information on gluten.

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Printable Recipe:  Recipes-Salads-SALMON CAPRESE-Broccolini

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IN MEMORY OF VIOLET BEIMS,  the beautiful, loving lady shown here to the right of her youngest daughter, and my close friend, Chris Kliesen Wehrman.  What a light!

13248444_1025474867489023_2240939756251289222_oSing a new song; Violet would have loved that,

Alyce