This time of year, with our farmers markets and vegetable beds bursting, it can be gratifying to throw together a dish that’s mostly made of local flavors — bright, clean notes that mirror the season. Bitter hits of arugula and chard and tons of fresh herbs sing when paired with rich, succulent seafood. I always grill extra salmon and other seafood to add to salads and omelets or tacos for quick meals. This week, some Copper River salmon — you could use fresh halibut, cod, shrimp, crab and even oysters — found its way into several recipes, including this copious salad.
If you’ve got your grill fired up for cooking the seafood, add a lime, with the cut side down, along with some tomatoes and chiles; giving them some smoke and heat will add extra flavor. The dressing is mostly grated, so get out your box grater and pick out a variety of seasonal vegetables, such as carrot, zucchini, snow turnips and kohlrabi. This dish is good warm or chilled. If taking to an outdoor picnic, make sure to dress the salad just before serving. Serve as is or over cooked noodles, couscous or rice.
Fresh herb and tomato seafood salad
Makes 4 servings
1 pound cooked seafood, such as wild salmon, cod, shrimp, crab, etc.
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
About 1 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes
1 medium carrot or zucchini
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger
1 tablespoon fish sauce
Juice squeezed from 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
2 teaspoons sesame oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 small jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional)
To serve: Sliced cucumbers; Sliced strawberries; Greens and herbs such as arugula, pea shoots, beet leaves, lettuce, cilantro, dill, etc.
Cabbage wedges or cooked noodles or steamed couscous or rice (optional)
Garnishes: salt flakes, extra-virgin olive oil, lime wedges, crispy garlic
1. Grill or steam seafood if not using already-cooked leftover seafood. Wash and dry all the lettuce and herbs and place on a serving platter or bowl.
2. Make sauce: Cut tomatoes in half and grate tomato halves into a bowl; discard stems and skin. Grate carrot or zucchini, garlic and ginger into bowl with tomatoes. Stir in fish sauce and lime juice. Taste and add more garlic or fish sauce or lime, as desired. Stir in sesame oil or olive oil and jalapeño, if using. Spoon most of the sauce over the cooked seafood and add seafood to platter of lettuce and herbs, serving remaining sauce on the side. Garnish, if desired, with salt, oil, lime, and crispy garlic. Serve with, if desired, cooked rice, rice or ramen noodles, couscous, or with cabbage wedges.
Other recipes to celebrate the season:
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