Salmon Salad: The One and Only

This salmon salad might be the meal that has made the most appearances at our dinner table over the past two decades. We made it pre-kids when we first got married and lived in Brooklyn; in the new baby years because it was fast and healthy; and in the nightmare toddler years because we called the pink salmon “princess fish” and served it completely deconstructed, nothing touching!; I made it on the Today Show when my first book came out; and I made it for my college roommates at our reunion weekend when it was my turn to cook because it’s the kind of one-dish thing you can make for a group without having to make a zillion sides; and when I ask those onetime nightmare toddlers who are now teenagers what they want for dinner LITERALLY THE ANSWER IS ALWAYS SALMON SALAD. It is so good…soooo sooo good….all year long but it is especially good this time of year when the tomatoes are peaking and the corn is sweet (“Make sure the corn is ‘clumpy’ Mom!”) and you can grill the salmon so the fresh cukes and green beans are all bright and awesome with the charred fish. It’s a keeper you guys! Trust me.

Salmon Salad
From Dinner: A Love Story

For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
Squeeze of fresh lemon or lime
1/2 cup olive oil

For the salmon:
1 salmon fillet (about 1 pound)
Salt and pepper
4 potatoes (yukon gold, red or blue if you can find them), peeled and quartered
2 ears corn
Handful of thin green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
5 to 6 scallions (white and light green parts), chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Make vinaigrette: Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, sugar, lemon juice and oil and set aside.

Make salmon: Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper. Roast in a foil-lined baking dish for 15 minutes. (If you prefer to grill the fish, brush with a mixture of olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash of honey and cook over medium-hot coals, 4 to 5 minutes on each side.)

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook until a knife slices through them with no resistance, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes to a large serving bowl. Add the corn to the same pot of water. Boil for 4 minutes. Remove to a cutting board, allow to cool, slice off the kernels and add to the serving bowl. Add beans to the same pot of water and cook for 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, scallions and cilantro to the bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette and serve.

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