"In Season" is our theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs, where we continue our journey with Donna Hay, the queen of wonderfully quick and simple, yet sensationally flavoured food. This is our opportunity to prepare a dish which represents the best of local, seasonal produce, wherever in the world you might live.
I have to confess this leaves me feeling a little smug, because right now in my part of the world it's spring. Now I know that there is almost no limit to the wonderful and imaginative things that those of you living in the northern hemisphere can do with a pumpkin and pot roast, but really is there anything more exciting than fresh, crisp, green spring produce. To me the joy of spring food lies not only in all its glory in its own right, but somehow also as the harbinger of what's to come in the summer ahead. Quintessential spring food in my part of the world includes asparagus, broad beans, radishes, new potatoes, juicy Nelson scallops and West Coast whitebait. If you were a keen fisherman that might also include salmon, the season beginning in spring and running through to autumn.
After picking up a well-priced side of salmon at the fishmonger's the other day, and some new season broad beans at the market, I knew my dish would have to include these two ingredients. After searching through my copy of Donna Hay's "Fast, Fresh, Simple", I came across a recipe for Salmon & Soy Bean Noodle Salad with Wasabi Dressing. In the latest issue of Donna Hay magazine I also came across a recipe for Green Tea Noodle and Smoked Salmon Salad with Pickled Ginger Dressing. Both looked wonderful, and what I finally decided on was something of a marriage of the two. In one recipe Donna used raw, sashimi-style salmon, in the other smoked salmon - I went with my own favourite way of preparing salmon, oven-roasted in a soy marinade. I also mixed together a dressing which included the pickled ginger from one of Donna's recipe and the wasabi from the other. The final dressing packed a real flavour punch.
This dish was the perfect combination of fresh spring ingredients, put together in a light and healthy way, and best of all ... preparation was quick and simple - whole thing on the table in less than 30 minutes. I'll definitely be making this again a few times before spring passes into summer.
Soy-Roasted Salmon Recipe
A Couscous & Consciousness original
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
2x pieces of salmon fillet (skin on, pin bones removed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
While oven is heating, mix oil, and soy together in a shallow, ovenproof dish which is big enough to hold both pieces of fish in a single layer. Add salmon to the dish and turn it over in the oil and soy mixture several times, until it is thoroughly coated on all sides. Add a liberal grinding of black pepper over the top, and set aside to "marinate" until the oven is hot.
Once oven is ready, put the dish of salmon into the oven, reduce heat to 160 degrees C (320 degrees F), and cook for around 8 minutes or until done to your liking.
Green Tea Soba Noodles and
Broad Bean & Radish Salad with
Wasabi Ginger Dressing Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Donna Hay
from Fast, Fresh, Simple
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
100g (3-1/2 oz) green tea soba noodles
1x cup broad beans, blanched, refreshed & skins removed
2x medium-sized radishes, very thinly sliced
generous handful of peppery salad greens & edible flowers
black sesame seeds (optional)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste
1 tablespoon finely chopped pickled ginger
Set a medium sized pan of water over high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling add the soba noodles to the water, and cook according to packet directions (usually around 5 minutes).
Note: This would also be the ideal time to put the salmon in the oven.
While noodles and salmon are cooking, prepare dressing by simply whisking all ingredients together in a small jug.
Once noodles are cooked (like pasta, they should be al dente), remove from the heat, drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain well and toss noodles with half of the dressing.
To serve arrange noodles in a serving bowl or platter, and strew liberally with broad beans, radishes and salad greens. Add salmon, pour over the remaining dressing, and finish with a sprinkle of black sesame seeds (if using).
If you would like to get to know Donna Hay a little better, and to see all the wonderful seasonally inspired dishes my friends have come up with, then do go visit I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links.
I'll also be sharing this post this week at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace, Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays hosted by my special friend Deb at Kahakai Kitchen, at Cook Your Books hosted by the lovely Joyce at Kitchen Flavours, and at Foodie Fridays hosted by Designs by Gollam.