This “warmish” salad has become something of an unintentional fixture in my current cooking repertoire. I love how the soy sauce and miso salty-umami flavours cut through the richness of the fish – a far cry from my first experiences of eating salmon baked in a bed of puff pastry. Despite the fact salmon is definitely a rich meat, this makes it the perfect vehicle for the pickled cucumbers and loads of vegetables for freshness.
Because this salad is best served lukewarm/room temperature, it is easy to prepare in advance if hosting a group for lunch or casual summer dinner. I often pick up the fresh salmon tails or cut pieces from my supermarket as they are often on special despite only being packed that day – in which case I buy enough for four servings and make enough for lunches later. There are certainly a few components to this dish, however I think it would be a shame not to include them all as they work so well together.
For the salmon:
- 600g fresh salmon, cut into 4 even pieces and deboned
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp brown miso paste
- 2 tbsp soy sauce/ tamari/Coconut aminos
- 2 tsp sweetener of choice (I used stevia)
- 1 tbsp grated ginger
- Furikake seasoning or sesame seeds for sprinkling
For the quick pickled cucumbers:
- Half a telegraph cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/8 cup water
- 3 tbsp sweetener of choice (again, I used stevia)
- Salt to season
For the sesame roasted vegetables (note I used what was seasonal and cheap here in NZ summer – I urge you to do the same)
- 6 medium courgettes
- 1 head of broccoli
- 100g round green beans
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper to season
- 2 large handfuls baby kale leaves (or rocket would also work well here)
Creamy wasabi dressing:
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise (I used Bestfoods brand)
- 60g Greek or plain yoghurt
- 2 tsp wasabi paste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Prepare the quick pickled cucumbers first by combining the rice wine vinegar, water, sweetener and salt in a small pan and heating gently for a few minutes to allow the sweetener to dissolve. Remove the liquid from heat and add the sliced cucumbers. Set aside to pickle for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/375F bake setting. Arrange the salmon, skin side down in a roasting dish. Mix the glaze ingredients (mirin, miso, soy, sweetener, ginger) in a small bowl and pour over the salmon. Cover with cling film, refrigerate and leave to marinade for 30 minutes or longer while the vegetables are roasting.
- Chop the vegetables except for the baby kale/leaves of choice into even sized pieces and place in another roasting dish. Toss with the oils and sesame seeds. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until cooked through, turning the vegetables once halfway through to avoid burning.
- Leave the vegetables to cool and swap them for the salmon. Bake for 10-12 minutes at the same heat – or until the fish falls apart easily with a fork but is not dry.
- While the vegetables and salmon are cooking, mix together the wasabi dressing ingredients to be served on top or on the side of the salad.
- Toss the baby kale through the roast vegetables, leaving a few to arrange on top. When the salmon has cooked and cooled to a warm temperature, tear into small pieces and place on top of the vegetables. Remove the cucumbers from their pickling water and top the salad with the slices.
- Serve at room or lukewarm temperature with the wasabi dressing. Suitable to be refrigerated for leftovers/lunches for up to two days depending on salmon freshness.
Makes one large salad for up to four people.
Make it dairy free: omit the yoghurt from the dressing and substitute with 1 extra tbsp mayo and 1 extra tbsp lemon juice.
Make it paleo: as for dairy free, also omit the soy sauce from the salmon glaze and use coconut aminos instead.