Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Salmon or Chicken Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Reduction

Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are such a perfect combination of sweet and sour that I borrowed the idea from my earlier post (see Balsamic Strawberries with Mascarpone Cream) and took it in another direction to come up with this delicious main dish salad. The strawberries in particular give this salad a delightful Spring flavor, while the crunch from the crisp romaine and toasted almonds only adds to its freshness.

The following recipe describes how to make this salad using salmon, but it is equally delicious with boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders that have been quickly browned in a skillet in place of the salmon (see variation suggestion below recipe). I hope while strawberries are at their peak, you'll give this one a try.

Salmon Salad with a Strawberry Balsamic Reduction
(Makes 2 servings)

2 tablespoons slivered almonds
2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Splenda granular
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 cups romaine lettuce
2 center cut salmon fillets (about 5 oz. each)
1 tablespoon canola oil or grapeseed oil (for high temp cooking, not olive oil)
Lemon pepper
10-12 strawberries, quartered

1. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat (I use a small cast-iron skillet). Add almonds to dry pan and toast, stirring often, until golden brown. Pour almonds into a bowl; set aside.

2. In another small bowl, mix together the balsamic vinegar, Splenda, and lemon juice; set aside. Divide and arrange romaine lettuce on two serving plates; set aside.

3. Wipe out pan of any almond bits and increase heat to medium-high. Meanwhile, coat both sides of the salmon fillets with oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper. When skillet is very hot, place the oiled salmon in the pan and do not disturb for at least 2 minutes until a brown crust has formed. Turn salmon and sear other side for at least two minutes. Turn again and complete cooking to desired doneness. (If you like your salmon on the rare side, the 2 minutes per side should be fine. I like mine cooked through to flaky and no longer pink in center, which takes another 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook, or fish will be dry.) Place salmon on top of lettuce on serving plates and set aside.

4. Add balsamic vinegar mixture and strawberries to hot pan. Boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to ½ cup and thickened to consistency of syrup. Evenly divide balsamic reduction and strawberries over salmon and lettuce. Top each with 1 tablespoon of the toasted almonds and serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving: 367 calories, 20 g carbohydrate, 14 g total fat, 3.2 g saturated fat, 3.9 g fiber, 38.7 g protein.

Original recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2010

Variation: Try this salad with grilled chicken, instead of salmon. Pan-grill the chicken for about 3-4 minutes per side and cook until juices run clear. Allow chicken to rest before slicing and distributing over salad greens. If desired, add a chopped plum tomato with the romaine.

No comments:

Post a Comment