Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Salmon Nicoise Salad -- Budget Version


I've been a poor blog host lately. Life has me so busy that while I'm cooking everyday, I just don't have time to write about it.

This recipe is for all my friends who are expecting babies. This recipe is loaded with lots of good baby nutrition -- especially Omega 3 (technically known as omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)). Omega 3 DHA is essential for brain development in unborn babies, but many women don't eat much fish when they are pregnant because of the warnings about Mercury. The FDA recommends women limit their fish intake to 12 ounces a week. Most women, however, don't even eat near 12 ounces a week.

This recipe is a winner because not only does it include healthy wild salmon, but using canned salmon essentially eliminates the risk of Mercury intake. According to the FDA, canned salmon, which, in the US, is all wild salmon, mostly from Alaska, has levels of Mercury that are not detectable.

And because this recipe uses canned salmon, it's cheap! Canned salmon is one of the least expensive, but most overlooked sources of Omega 3 DHA. A 4-ounce serving packs 2.2 grams of Omega 3 DHA, and as much calcium as a glass of milk. One Omega-3 egg contains 100 milligrams of Omega 3. You'd have to eat 22 of those pricey eggs to equal that 4-ounce serving of salmon. (Aren't I a wealth of information this morning?)

So, no excuses girls. It's healthy, cheap and delish! I could eat this salad anytime, but usually I serve it on Friday night. Some of the kids eat it, some have grilled cheese. The great thing is, even if they don't eat all of the ingredients, they can pick a few things that they like. I use the above-mentioned pricey Omega--3 eggs for the hard boiled eggs, so at least the kids who don't eat the salmon get a little bit.

Salmon Nicoise Salad
serves 4 adults

10 to 12 ounces canned salmon *
half a fresh lemon
6 Omega-3 eggs (or regular eggs), hard boiled, peeled and chilled
1 pound fresh green beans
1 can whole beets, chilled
1 - 2 pounds small red potatoes
1 head leaf lettuce (I often mix in some baby spinach for extra vitamins), washed and dried
1/4 cup Nicoise olives **

3 T. white Balsamic vinegar ***
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. light tasting olive oil
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic crushed/minced
1/4 t. salt and 1/8 t. fresh cracked pepper

Several hours before serving, clean and trim beans.
Steam until tender, drain, and then dump in a bowl of ice water.
After cooling, drain and refrigerate until serving time.

Also, scrub potatoes and submerge in a pot of salted water.
Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender.
Drain and refrigerate until chilled.

At serving time,
place all dressing ingredients in a small container with a screw-on,
or tight-fitting, lid.
Shake for about a minute until dressing is emulsified.

Place lettuce (and spinach, if desired) on a large platter.
In piles, place green beans on lettuce around the platter.
Place salmon in piles around platter on top of lettuce.
Squeeze lemon over piles of salmon.
Place potatoes and beets around platter.
Cut eggs in quarter and arrange on platter around other foods.
If using, place Nicoise olives around platter.

Drizzle entire salad with dressing, especially on potatoes, green beans and beets.
Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve. (Especially good with a crusty French bread and unsalted butter. And a glass of Chardonnay, unless you're expecting and then you may have milk.)

* I use canned Sockeye salmon which you can buy canned (usually has bones) or in vacuum sealed packages (deboned).
If you buy canned, you will probably have to remove the bones and skin. Tiny bones are very soft and can be mixed in with the salmon (more calcium!).

**optional and I opt out because they are pricey and I am the only one who eats them

*** If you can't find white Balsamic (I can only find it at Trader Joe's) use white wine vinegar
and add a teaspoon or so sugar



Margaret in Minnesota said...

This salad has beets? I'm there!

It really does look yummy.

scmom (Barbara) said...

'Tis yummy. And especially yummy for those who are French (even at heart). Oui, Oui?

Barb, sfo said...

MMMM, I want to eat some of that right now.

Canned salmon is on sale this week at a great price at my local supermarket so you can bet I'll be stocking up. I like to make salmon burgers with it too.

scmom (Barbara) said...

Most definitely stock up, Barb. And I'm going to try those salmon burgers, too!

Margaret in Minnesota said...

Dang it! I was at the grocery store last night and tried to shop for this recipe by memory.

How could I have forgotten the beets???


Mais, oui. Je suis une vielle femme.

scmom (Barbara) said...

Vielle est "ditzy"?

scmom (Barbara) said...

By the way, I would wait on the beets. Unless you just can't wait. :o)

Margaret in Minnesota said...

I couldn't wait, and it was delicious.

Oh, and I'd forgotten the new potatoes, too. I am extremely vielle.

"Vielle," by the way, means old. Ditzy will work too, though.

scmom (Barbara) said...

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Glad you liked it. You will love it with the beets.