Smoked Salmon Salad

This could be called the Bagel Salad, but there's no bagel -- just all of your favorite bagel toppings!  It is unapologetically rich and worthy of guests for lunch or brunch.  Makes a darn good dinner too.

This salad captures the flavor of a decadent smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel – without the bagel!  It is a perfect summer dinner, and we’ve been known to make it in winter when we need a salad fix.  The goat cheese is tangy, the eggs are creamy, the red onion adds a mild bite, and for the salt lovers we have the capers and caviar.  The star is the smoked salmon.  For this salad, I prefer very thinly sliced Norwegian smoked salmon.  This is the one ingredient that needs to shine, so find the best that you can.  Serves 2

Ingredients – divide equally between salads

4 hard boiled eggs, halved (see my recipe)
4 ounces smoked salmon, thinly sliced
Romaine lettuce, chopped
3 to 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
½ red onion, sliced thinly
Caviar (optional), domestic or best you can afford
2 Tablespoons capers
Lemon vinaigrette (juice of 1 fresh lemon, 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil, pinch of salt)

Hard boil the eggs.  Peel and keep cold and whole until you are ready to serve.  Slice the eggs in half, long-ways, just before you serve.

Wash the lettuce, drain / dry completely, and chop it into bite-sized pieces.  Put it back into the fridge to re-crisp.  

Slice the red onion in half, and then slice very thinly.  Put the red onion in a bowl of icy cold water for at least 30 minutes.  This takes the raw bite out of the onion.

Use store-bought croutons or make your own.  Slice bread into cubes, whatever size you want, and toss them lightly with extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt.  Put these into a pan on the stovetop, on medium, and let them crisp.  Give the pan a shake every now and then so that all sides of the crouton are toasted.  If you want less bread and an extra vegetable, try my recipe for eggplant croutons

The rest is easy!  Plate the lettuce, and top with the eggs, goat cheese crumbles, onion and capers.  Spoon the caviar on top of the egg.  Sprinkle croutons.  Mix the ingredients for the lemon vinaigrette and drizzle lightly across the salad.  There you have it!  All the best parts of a smoked salmon bagel – with no bagel!

March 17, 2016