Summer Salad with Nuts & Seeds

This salad was one of those rare culinary moments where I wasn’t sure what I was making the whole time and then it was fan-freakin-tastic. The kind of meal where my husband and I couldn’t speak to each other like civilized humans because we were just shoveling food into our mouths and grunting with appreciation. I rarely feel that way about my own food, so this was a particularly wonderful experience.

I *highly* recommend everything I did below, but like everything I make, I believe in flexibility and working with what you’ve got. Perhaps this recipe will grace you with the same improvisational glory that I experienced. The only non-negotiables should be the fresh herbs, the nut mixture, and the salad dressing. Sub in whatever veggies and protein you want, though the nuts are plenty of protein if you’re not needing a more substantial meal.

This dish went from non-existent to one of my new regular rotations. Enjoy!

Ingredients: (serves 3)

Salad ingredients: (eyeball these amounts to make the amount of salad you want)

  • 4 cups Arugula
  • 2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced (I used white/green cabbage)
  • 1 cup Carrots, grated or thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup radish, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (torn)
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill (torn)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (torn)
  • 1 lb cooked salmon (or cooked chicken or shrimp…or omit entirely)

Nut mixture:

  • 1/3 cup raw slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Salad dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped/crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper

Preparation:

If using a protein, cook that first and assemble everything else while the protein is cooking. I broiled a filet of salmon, exactly the way I did in this past broiled salmon recipe on the blog. If using a different protein, cook however you would enjoy eating it on a salad.

In a small saucepan, add the teaspoon olive oil, nuts and seeds, chili flakes and salt. Heat over medium heat and stir regularly while they toast. You want a nice golden color on the almonds but don’t burn your nuts. (That’s what she said). This takes about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. Please ignore the horrendous single small hair in the saucepan below……..mortifying.

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Mix the dressing — olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper — and set aside. Assemble all the greens and vegetables. The dill, basil and cilantro combination is absolutely stunning and I do not recommend changing it. If anything, add more. The basil will blacken if you tear it up too early, so I recommend doing this right at the end of assembling all the other greens.

Sprinkle the nut mixture on top, add the dressing and toss.

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Serve with warm/room temperature protein of your choosing – highly recommend the salmon. You are reading a blog named after that fine fish.

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Note: Yotam Ottolenghi has a quite high-brow salad recipe that calls for seeds I never have on hand and quail eggs…….so while I’ve never made that, I have adapted his nut mixture and use of herbs from that recipe, which you can find here.

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