Asian Salad with Salmon Cakes

salmon cakes


This favorite summer salad is so flavorful you’ll be going back to it again and again. I use the least expensive salmon I can find – as long as it is fresh and sweet. I’ve never tried this with canned salmon – I fear that would be too salty.  But good farm-raised salmon can be had for about $6/pound on sale and a pound makes a dozen cakes, enough for six servings. The salad itself combines mesclun or baby greens with fresh herbs for a summery, intensely flavored final result. Adrienne demoed this recipe for a class at Brookside June 17, 2014. Adapted from Cuisine at Home. Read More

Five-Ingredient Potato Salad

potato saladSo there we were Memorial weekend, a small but dedicated foodie crowd of eight sitting down to a feast of Korean barbequed pork, Thai seafood salad, grilled eggplant, potato salad, blueberry-almond tartlets, all washed down with sangria. Just to get one more nation represented, we’d started the afternoon with a spread that I call Greek Platter (elsewhere on this very same website), which we nibbled while sipping our sangrias on the porch in the amber afternoon sun.
Did I mention the potato salad? Because that eclipsed the meal.  If we’d put out nothing but sangria and the potato salad, I dare say we’d have had just as happy guests as we did with the rest of the spread out there.  You’ll get no argument from me – this is killer potato salad. I was off on a search for the recipe after sampling the potato salad from our very own VA-grown BBQ chainlet Red, Hot and Blue. They produce an excellent potato salad, but now that I made my own version of their recipe, I’d say it’s even better when you make it yourself. Do yourselves all a favor and don’t bother cooking for your next cookout.  Just throw together this gem of a recipe – just five ingredients – slap some burgers on the grill and you’ll be viewed as an icon of culinary brilliance by all who dine that day.

Five-Ingredient Potato Salad

2.5# potatoes, red-skinned or a mix red-skinned and Yukon
4 eggs
1 C scallions, green tops only, washed and sliced into thin rings
1½ t celery seed
1¼ C mayonnaise
salt to taste

Wash potatoes and prick all over with a fork; place them in a plastic bag, leaving it open at one end. Put the bagged potatoes in the microwave and microwave on high, checking them after six minutes. Potatoes should be easily pierced by a fork.  If they are not cooked, continue microwaving another two to three minutes. Let them cool before removing from the bag. Meantime, hard boil the eggs, plunge into ice water when done. Peel eggs and chop roughly. Put them in a large mixing bowl. Add scallions and celery seed. Once the potatoes have cooled sufficiently, dice them into a large dice and add to the egg and scallion mixture. Add mayonnaise and gently toss so all the ingredients are well mixed.  Taste for salt (I usually add a dash or ¼ t).

Jeweled Quinoa


Even the quinoa (kee-noo-ah) gleams in this beautiful, mouth-watering jewel of a dish.  If you’ve never had the grain before, this is a great introduction.  If you have, then add this salad to your repertoire.  Quinoa is widely available in the rice and grain aisle of your local supermarket or in the health food section.

1 C quinoa, red, black or white or a combination
2 C water
2 T olive oil
1  T minced fresh ginger
1 clove or 1 t minced fresh garlic
1 small carrot, diced (about ½ cup)
1 celery stalk, diced (about ½ cup)
½ red AND yellow pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
½ C peas, frozen is fine
3 scallions, thinly sliced (discard dark green part)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, dill, mint or basil for garnish (optional)

For the best flavor and fluffiest texture, dry-toast the quinoa before adding the water: rinse the quinoa according to the package directions, then put it in a medium pot without oil or butter. Let the grains dry out a bit and toast until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the water, bring to a boil and cover with a lid. Simmer  10-15 minutes-do not stir the quinoa while it is cooking. This will allow it to cook evenly and steam holes to form. The quinoa is cooked when you see the grains form a little white spiral tail. This is the outer germ of the grain that twists as it cooks, but stays attached to the kernel.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare the vegetable medley. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick sauté pan, add the garlic and ginger and stir until the ginger is aromatic but not colored, about 2 minutes. Add the carrots and sauté another minute; stir in the remaining vegetables and sauté just long enough for the vegetables to heat through, about three minutes. Remove from heat, add the cooked hot quinoa, season with lemon juice and zest, a little more olive oil, salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh herbs.  Serve, hot, warm or at room temperature. Serves 4-6.