This is a favorite for a dinner party or a graduation celebration menu. I just love giant salad platters highlighting all the produce of spring. What I especially like about this one is that I can do most of it ahead of time: the salad dressing can be prepared a day ahead and everything else the morning of, except for the fish. Then it’s a matter of sautéing the fish and assembling the salad. Start with pan roasting these salmon fingers on the stove. Add to the platter your favorites like these blanched French green beans, marinated red onions, halved pitted black olives, sliced Persian cucumbers, baby pear tomatoes and Potato Crisps (which are super easy to do and make all the same size with my favorite kitchen tool, this slicer). I always add a surprise, like a few of these homemade sweet potato crisps. Drizzle the entire platter with a homemade lemon chive vinaigrette. Keep it light–remember, a salad is not a swimming pool. It’s easy to make a homemade dressing, and so much better. Niçoise eating, with a twist.
Ingredients – I have an events planning background and usually make this for large numbers. The quantities listed below are per person.
- 4 oz. salmon
- 2-3 oz. French greens beans
- 1 handful pear tomatoes, halved and sprinkled with salt
- 2 Tbsp. marinated onions
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1/2 Persian cucumber
- 3 handfuls of sorted soft lettuces, including Boston, Bib, Romaine, and Baby
- 1 – 2 oz. black olives, pitted
- Chives, chopped, for sprinkling over
- high quality vinegar and olive oil
- Japanese Sweet Potato Chips
- 1/4 cup lemon juice, Meyers if possible
- 1/2 cup high quality olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. crushed black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. chives
Make the dressing by whisking all ingredients together. Add chives and stir.
Make the sweet potato chips. Recipe here.
Marinate red onions by thinly slicing them. Place in a container. Pour oil and red wine vinegar over them. Add 1 tsp dried oregano. Cover and let sit at room temperature to marinate for several hours.
Blanch French green beans in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes until bright green and still crispy. Then place immediately into cold water, dry, and set aside.
Cut tomatoes and pitted black olives in half, and Persian cucumbers into thin slices. 30 minutes before serving, add a tablespoon of dressing to each.
Pick a nice assortment of beautiful soft lettuces. Wash, dry, tear into pieces and set aside.
Cut salmon into ‘fingers’ about 3/4 inches thick. Pan sear them on the stove, about 1-1/2 minutes per side (longer if you want them done more).
This is the fun part: Line a tray with the lettuces, torn into pieces that are not tiny, but not giant. Drizzle a little of the dressing on the lettuce. Assemble the platter as you like, sprinkle with a little bit of kosher salt then lightly drizzle more dressing over the salad. Top with chives.