Why two? Well, the vegetables need oil and acid to make them more palatable so the veggies were tossed with a simple mixture of extra virgin olive oil, Balsamic vinegar and herb salt. But I didn’t want the salmon to soak in the vinegar too much to avoid textural changes. So, a second dressing — store-bought aioli — was added.
What does vinegar do to raw fish anyway? Soaking raw fish in vinegar or citrus juice gives it an appearance of cooked fish. The texture also changes. That’s fine if you’re making ceviche but, for this salad, I wanted the salmon to retain its beautiful raw flavor and texture. Hence, the use of two salad dressings.
Now, two ingredients used in this recipe are worth a closer look. This should answer the question as to whether feta can be substituted for Apetina, and what to look for when choosing a bottle of Balsamic vinegar on the grocery shelf.
Let’s also talk about the salmon a bit. If you can get your salmon really fresh, good for you. Buy the whole fish and fillet it, and you’ll have the best salmon ever. If you buy your fish pre-cut and chilled or frozen, make sure that you can trust that your purveyor sells only quality fish. Any fish that had been cut sould be blast frozen immediately, and should not be thawed and re-frozen repeatedly. The fish should be thawed only once — when you prepare the salad. And remember to serve the salad immediately.
If your using a slab of fillet, remove the skin, if any, and cut the flesh into bite-sized pieces. Place the salmon on a plate lined with layers of paper towels, top with more paper towels and press lightly but repeatedly to remove as much surface moisture as you can. Then, sprinkle the fish with lemon pepper seasoning, toss, cover with cling wrap and keep in the fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
I used Apetina in brine for this salad but you can substitute a whole block if you wish. Just cut into half-in cubes and place in a strainer to remove excess liquid.
Then, mix together two tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and two generous pinches of herb salt. I used citrus salt. If you don’t have herb salt, just use a pinch of salf and a pinch of pepper.
Now, the vegetables. I used cherry tomatoes, red onion and scallions. You can add more to the mix. I wanted cucumber but we didn’t have any. You may add sweet corn kernels or blanched broccoli or cauliflowers florets. Whatever vegetable you like in your salad, really. Just place all the vegetables in a mixing bowl, add the salad dressing and toss lightly but thoroughly.
Dump the drained Apetina on top of the vegetables, add the seasoned salmon and fresh dill. Drizzle in aioli and give everything a final toss. Why aioli? Because salmon is lovely with a hint of garlic. Don’t have aioli? Just stir mashed roasted garlic into regular mayo, and you’ve got yourself a lovely substitute.
Salmon, tomato and cheese salad
- 300 grams skinless salmon fillet cut into one-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
- 200 grams Apetina cut into half-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon herb salt or substitute a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper
- 300 grams cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 red onion peeled and thinly sliced
- ⅓ to ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
- 2 tablespoons aioli
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- Line a plate with paper towels, spread the salmon, top with more paper towels and press to remove excess moisture. Discard the paper towels.
- Toss the salmon with salt and pepper seasoning. Cover the plate and keep in the fridge.
- Dump the Apetina into a strainer.
- Make a simple dressing by mixing Balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and herb salt (or salt and pepper).
- Place the halved cherry tomatoes, onion slices and scallions in a mixing bowl. Drizzle in the dressing and toss well.
- Add the drained Apetina, seasoned salmon and dill.
- Drizzle in the aioli and toss.
- Serve immediately.