Salmon and Grain Salad with Red Onion Quickles
Before long, several back-to-back days of Jewish holiday eating will call for something lighter and healthier. This salad gives me everything I want, with the extra boost of protein-rich grains and the luxury of my home-canned fish. If using fish from the store, buy the very best quality, cured in oil (Italian grocers carry wonderful options). Prepare the individual components in advance, keep them refrigerated, then stir it all together for a healthy post-synagogue Rosh Hashanah or Sukkot lunch. I often serve the salad on a big platter as a lighter option for a rich Yom Kippur break-fast spread as well. Sure, with its crunch and tang, this healthy salad offers both texture and flavor, but it’s pretty on the plate, too.
- ½ red onion, sliced into slim half-moons
- ½ cup (4 ounces, 110 grams) white wine vinegar
- ½ cup (4 ounces, 110 grams) nonchlorinated water
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon pickling spice, homemade or store-bought
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 ounces (225 grams) green beans
- 3 cups cooked grains (rice, quinoa, farro, couscous or any combination of whole grains), warm or at room temperature
- 6 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1 half-pint jar pressure-canned salmon or tuna, homemade or store-bought, drained
- ½ cup (4 ounces, 235 milliliters) olive oil
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Place the onion slices in a small glass or ceramic bowl. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, salt, pickling spice and red pepper to a simmer. Pour the brine over the onion slices and set aside for 20 minutes.
- Trim the beans, leaving the little tails but removing the stem ends. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil Add the green beans and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain.
- Fluff up the cooked grains on a beautiful platter. Scatter the green beans over the grains. Drain the pickled onions, reserving the brine. Sprinkle half the pickled onions over the salad. (Save the other half for tacos, sandwiches, omelets—oh, just about anything.) Top the salad with the radishes and fish.
- Whisk together ¼ cup of the reserved pickling brine and the olive oil (or shake in a covered jar) until emulsified. Taste and season with salt, if necessary, and pepper. Drizzle the salad with the dressing, add the mayonnaise, if using, and serve.
- Variation: Substitute other seasonal vegetables for the green beans. Try asparagus, zucchini or diced butternut squash.
- Image and recipe reprinted from Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving by Cathy Barrow. Copyright (c) 2014 by Cathy Barrow. With permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Photo by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton.