Being kind to oneself – Salmon Salad with Wasabi Dressing

my blue&white kitchen

I wasn't quite sure if I should publish this post the way it looks now. You know, I'm not fully satisfied with the salad shots. I felt the urge to shoot them again. To do better. But then I looked at my day planner and realized that the coming week would be a busy one. Train rides, lectures on the university, making analyses for my thesis, work shifts. I wouldn't be at home during the daylight hours. So I would either have to post this with the shots I had, or you guys would have to wait for this delicious salad for one whole week longer.

You must know, I'm someone who always tries to do her very best. Always trying to push further, challenging myself. As a kid, my parents needed to tell me to do less, not more. Over the years, I've learned to be more forgiving to myself. It doesn't come natural to me; it's a thing I need to do consciesly. "It's okay." "You've already done enough for today." So here I am, putting this online without being fully satisfied with it. Being kinder to myself. Telling myself "It's alright".

And, like you see on these pictures, I think I need to be kinder to spring too. It snowed last week. Oh well... But at least the sun never left.

my blue&white kitchen

Today, I share a salad with you that I've been enjoying often during the last couple of weeks. A mix of different greens, pan-fried salmon, and a highly addictive wasabi dressing. A wonderful composition. I didn't want to give you strict quantities for the ingredients. After all, a salad is a forgiving dish. Choose what's in season or what looks especially delicious at the store or at the farmer's market. How big is your appetite? Two or three handfuls of salad? Maybe you don't like salmon? Leave it out or substitute it with something else. Really, go ahead, and make this salad yours.

Salmon Salad with Wasabi Dressing | my blue&white kitchen

Salmon Salad with Wasabi Dressing

This salad is greatly inspired by the salmon and avocado salad from the Helsinki-based restaurant Rafla. The recipe can also be found in the Finnish cookbook Safkaa - Parempaa arkiruokaa by Alexander & Hanna Gullichsen, p. 33

150 g salmon per person, cut lenghtwise into 1 cm thick fillets
fine sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to season
lime, to drizzle on top

a mix of different salads & herbs (I used frisée salad, bloody dock, pea tendrils, & cilantro), washed & dried
piece of carrot, cut into long stripes
piece of cucumber, cut into long stripes
avocado, halved & sliced
edamame beans, cooked (I used frozen ones)
radishes, thinly sliced
gari (Japanese pickled ginger)

for the dressing (serves 2):
juice of ½ a lime
pinch of fine sea salt
2 tsp wasabi
4 tbsp neutral vegetable oil, like canola

to serve:
pumpkin seeds, toasted
rice vinegar
salt & freshly ground black pepper, optional

For the dressing, whisk together the lime juice, salt, and wasabi until completely combined. While whisking constantly, slowly add the oil. This is crucial to keep the dressing from separating.

In a frying pan, fry the salmon, skin side down first, until cooked through. While cooking, season with salt & pepper, and drizzle with some lime juice.

Arrange the salad on a plate, sprinkle with some toasted pumpkin seeds, and drizzle with some rice vinegar. 

Salmon Salad with Wasabi Dressing | my blue&white kitchen

Coldness – Arugula salad with pears, feta & pecans

I can hear the snow crunching under my feet. I breathe out and white mist forms before my face. I smile and my heart jumps in the air. Finally, it's winter again. For a moment I feel like a child wanting to make snow angels in the shallow snow – lie on my back and vigorously move my arms up and down and my legs from side to side. Honestly, when was the last time I made one?

my blue&white kitchen

But then the cold arctic wind hits me. Hard and freezing cold. I'm talking about -20°C (-4°F) cold. So yes, really cold. Soon I can't feel my nose anymore. Cheeks? Nope. And my ears? Well, I should have put a woolen hat on... By the time I'm back home they might have fallen off. Maybe not really likely but the thought alone makes me panic a little so I rub them with my hands. Thank God I'm wearing mittens. Then I look down. My favorite ankle boots and bare legs. Well, they're not really bare. I wear thick(ish) tights. However, this isn't quite what one could call cold weather clothing. Women! What was I thinking?

Oh winter. I think we do have a stormy love-hate relationship.

my blue&white kitchen

But hey, let's talk about today's recipe...cause there's so much more than coldness and maybe it's 40°C in your corner of the world (hello Oz!). I'm not going to share a recipe for a warming soup or comforting stew. No, today we're having a simple, quick-to-make salad. And I don't post this recipe because I'm on a post-Christmas diet spree. I post it just because it's delicious.

This is a variation of a salad we often make at a get-together with friends (thanks to my friend M.). The "original" version calls for blue cheese and walnuts. I, however, used feta and pecans instead. If you want to have a more filling salad, you can pimp it up with red quinoa. I should also tell you that after I took these shots I remembered that I still had a pomegranate sitting on my countertop. The pom seeds were really lovely sprinkled on top! 

Arugula Salad with Pears, Feta & Pecans

serves 2

You'll end with more dressing than you need but it'll keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

2 large handfuls of arugula, washed & dried
2 pears, thinly sliced
100 g (3.5 oz) feta, crumbled
handful of pecans

for the dressing
3 tbsp full fat plain yogurt
½ tbsp whole grain mustard
½ tbsp white balsamic vinegar
a drizzle of honey
salt & freshly ground pepper, to season

For the dressing, combine yogurt, mustard, vinegar, and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss together arugula, pears, and feta. At this point you can either mix in the dressing or, like I do, serve it separately. Sprinkle the salad with pecans to make it look even prettier.

arugula salad with pears, feta & pecans :: my blue&white kitchen


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