One of the reasons I like to join up with different blogging groups is that they nudge me to cook in a way that I want to. This is our second monthly Salad Blogging Group posting party, and I can already feel the effects. Please understand. I make salads, and make them often. But not with much thought, I confess. They tend to be thrown together from the latest scavenger hunt in rarely visited caverns of my refrigerator. Some wilted kale from the bottom of the produce drawer gets thrown in ice water to rehydrate, and make it like new again (sure wish my skin was like that). A last apple is washed, cored and sliced up. If I need a little protein, I might add a soft-boiled egg. And my dressing rarely strays from olive oil, sherry vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. It’s all good, but I’m in a serious rut.
This month’s theme is potluck salads, which suggests to me an entrée salad. And because it’s summer, an EASY entrée salad. I took an approach as if there might be both vegetarians and omnivores at this imaginary potluck and made two versions of the same salad, and yes, they both pass the “easy summer cooking” litmus test.
Both are a potato salad served at room temperature, tossed in red onions and cooked lentils, but the omnivore version mixes in some grilled salmon. Both are dressed with a yogurt-boursin-dill dressing. Best of all, they’re made with ingredients I always have on hand, except perhaps the dill. I don’t know why I haven’t made this before!
Turf ‘n Turf: Cooking for the Vegetarian – Omnivore Table
The omnivore version of this warm salad tosses in some grilled salmon (as pictured), but the vegetarian version can be easily served as a main meal with the lentils packing enough protein and depth into the salad to satisfy everyone. More details are provided in the below recipe.
Lentil Potato Salad (with optional Grilled Salmon)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 5 cups halved baby potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, according to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup cooked brown lentil beans (or your favorite lentils)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon minced chives
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 3/4 pound fresh salmon filet
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon peanut oil
- 3 tablespoon soft cheese with herbs (I used Boursin garlic and herbed cheese)
- 2 tablespoon plain full-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 6 tablespoons peanut oil
- 2 teaspoon chopped dill
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly group pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Toss the potatoes in oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Roast for 20 minutes, or until tender. The blade of a knife should be able to easily puncture a potato.
I frequently have a stash of cooked lentils in the refrigerator, but they’re so easy, and quick, to make. If your lentils aren’t already cooked, go here for detailed instructions on cooking lentil beans.
Combine the roasted potatoes, 3/4 cup of cooked lentils (or more, if you prefer), the minced chives, and chopped red onion together in a large bowl.
Fire up the grill, nice and hot. You should be able to hold your hand two inches above the grill for five seconds. Lightly oil a grill pan suitable for grilling fish or vegetables. I like to use peanut oil for its high smoke temperature rather than olive oil.
Bring the salmon to room temperature, rub a little oil on it, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the salmon, flesh side down on the grill pan, skin side up. Grill for 5 minutes. Flip, add the dill to the top of the fish, and cook another five minutes or more, depending on how well cooked you like your fish. My instructions are for grilling one inch thick salmon to medium-rare.
Divide the Vegetarian Lentil Potato Salad into two portions. One portion should be enough for the vegetarians at the table; the other portion for the omnivores. Flake the salmon in large chunks and lay it on top of the omnivore portion.
Combine all of the dressing ingredients into a small bowl, and whisk together. Pour part over the Vegetarian Salad, and some over the Omnivore Version. This makes more dressing than you will need, so reserve the rest to re-dress leftovers the next day. Lightly toss.
Please join in our Salad Blogging Group and check out some great summer potluck salads! If you’re interested in joining us next month, check out The Salad Bar Facebook page. Thanks to Wendy, The Weekend Gourmet, for hosting us again this month.Pin It