Creamy salads are hearty and comforting, but the recipes are often heavy on dairy, an ingredient that many of us do not tolerate very well. This salad incorporates the lactose-free, but still luscious flavor of ghee, or clarified butter, often used in Indian cooking. Along with the delicious, health-boosting fat from the ghee, this recipe also maximizes the precious omega-3 fatty acids found in wild salmon as well as the energy-boosting and fat-burning MCT oils. They are simply, good fats!
The key to preserving these vital nutrients is in the method of cold poaching rather than using high heat. Not only is it a healthier way to prepare your fish nutrition-wise, but you are less likely to overcook it; as a result, the fish remains buttery, delicate and flaky.
Prep time: 10 minutes
For the salad:
2 tablespoons ghee
2 cups sliced shiitake mushrooms
16 ounces fresh asparagus, diced
6 scallions, chopped
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup parsley, chopped
For the dressing:
1 cup avocado-oil based mayo
1 tablespoon MCT oil
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
sea salt and black pepper to taste
For the salmon:
8 (4-ounce) fillets of wild salmon
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 lemon, quartered
- Heat ghee in a large skillet on medium heat. Sauté mushrooms for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly softened. Add in asparagus and scallion and a little water. Cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and then stir in the peas, broccoli, and tomatoes. Season with sea salt, pepper and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes and then remove from heat. Fold in the parsley. Place in a large mixing bowl.
- To make the dressing blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Pour the dressing over the veggie mixture and stir to combine. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired. Refrigerate for a cold salad or serve warm.
- To cold poach salmon, place the salmon fillets, carrot, onion, salt, and vinegar in a large pot and top with cold water. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until salmon is just cooked. Keep an eye on the salmon in order to catch it at the right time.
- The best way to know if your salmon is cooked, using the poaching method, is to take your fork after about 7 minutes and gently flake the fish. Depending on the thickness of your fish and your preference for medium-rare or well-done fish, 7 minutes may be enough or you may need to go the full 10 minutes. Check every minute so you catch it at the right time. You’ll know you’ve gone too far if the gorgeous fats from the inside appear on the outside of the fish (it looks like a thick white filmy substance coating the fish). After all, you want those fats to remain intact so learning how to poach your fish is an art and a science well worth your time!
- Discard poaching water and set salmon on a large plate.
- Divide the salad among eight plates and top each with a salmon fillet. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over each piece of fish and season with additional sea salt.
Nutrition Facts: (serving size: 1 serving salad with salmon) Fat: 32 g Protein: 16 g Fiber: 4 g Carb: 12 g Net Carb: 8 g