This dinner was a huge success and everyone loved the salad. I had never poached anything other than an egg before and I couldn't help but feel a little intimidated. It was so easy and the salmon was incredibly moist and tender ("creamy" even). The saltiness of the sunflower seeds were a nice contrast to the grapes and the dressing added another layer of mild spice that gave the dish some zip. I find my favorite recipes and "bites" come from dishes that offer salty, sweet, sour (zippy), crunchy (crispy), and creamy elements. This one has it all.
The recipe is from a past issue of Family Circle that I came across. The original recipe calls for Kale as the salad green. At the time I made it, my local grocer's kale did not look especially tender so I opted for baby spinach. I'm sure kale would be tasty too--or arugula. Use what you like.
- For the Poached Salmon:
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 small onion, halved
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
- 10 whole peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 pounds salmon fillets
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- For the Dressing and Salad:
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I like Sriracha)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces baby spinach leaves (8 packed cups)
- 1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
- 1/4 cup roasted, salted sunflower seed kernels
- Combine broth, onion, garlic, peppercorns and red pepper flakes in a straight-sized saute pan. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove fish to a plate with a large spatula and refrigerate at least one hour.
Dressing and Salad
- In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and the hot sauce. While whisking, add olive oil in a thin stream.
- Combine spinach, grapes and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Remove salmon skin. Flake salmon into bite-size pieces and add to bowl. Pour dressing over salad and season with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Gently toss to combine.
Make Ahead Tip
Poach salmon the night before and refrigerate, tightly wrapped in plastic, until serving.