I am so thrilled to be back out on the water. I love the smells of the harbor, the way the air feels and being around so many happy people who enjoy getting out on a boat as much as I do. Let’s all have a wonderful summer.
Lately I’ve been on a salad kick – not your side salad of greens, tomatoes and cucumber, but an all-in-one complete dinner-sized concoction. My ingredients are always some type of salad greens, a protein, and vegetables done in any one of a variety of ways. Sometimes I’ll use fruit in place of the vegetables. Dressings always vary depending on what my taste buds are wanting, which can be anything from a refreshing lemon vinegar to a highly fattening blue cheese or anything in-between. I find these salads to be totally satisfying and don’t make me feel like taking a nap after eating as a heavy dinner always does.
For your proteins you can use salmon, shrimp, white fish, fresh tuna, steak, sliced pork, chicken or turkey or anything else you can think of. Vegetables are anything you want, grilled, roasted, raw or steamed. I have used potatoes in a salad with steak and love it. Often, I’ll add feta cheese or a grated parmesan or cheddar if I want a carb taste. If you’re in a hurry, leftover meats and vegetables work just as well thrown over greens. For the greens; romaine, iceberg, arugula, butter lettuce, chicory, baby spinach, the list goes on. I love to make the salad dressings too, but bottled works just as well.
The best part is you can prep all of this at home, then pack the ingredients separately in your cooler to bring to the boat. Lounge on the boat and enjoy the fresh air instead of slaving in the galley!
Here are 3 of my favorites.
My Grilled Salmon and Fruit Salad
2 nice fillets of salmon (the thick end)
A bunch of fresh arugula or baby spinach
3-4 strawberries, sliced
A handful of blueberries
1 apple, cored, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup of fresh pineapple (cut in chunks)
1/2 cup of toasted pecans
1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese (optional)
*Dressing of your choice (see below)
Pat the salmon dry and grill until desired doneness. While the salmon is cooking, assemble the salad by placing the greens in a bowl, then adding all the fruit and feta cheese (if using). Toss lightly with the dressing of your choice. Once the salmon is done, place it on top of the salad, add a little more dressing and enjoy!
*My favorite dressing for this salad is Sicilian Lemon Vinegar that I purchase at one of the Crushed Olive stores here on Long Island. I use it by itself, not mixing with any oil. The flavor is so crisp and amazing. I’ve also used a bottled Thai Ginger Peanut dressing. Either one is delicious!
Cold Marinated Steak Salad with Roasted Vegetables
(this is a bit involved but worth the time)
1 large clove of garlic, minced
2 Tb. of blue cheese
2 Tb. of dry Vermouth
Salt & freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. of dry mustard
2 tsp. of instant coffee
1/2 cup of olive oil
4 lbs. of thick sirloin or NY Strip steak
1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, 1 red pepper, 1 Vidalia onion
Olive oil, Salt & Pepper
In a small bowl, blend together all the ingredients for the marinade. Rub the sauce into the steak and marinate at room temperature for at least 4 hours.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425º. Slice all the vegetables and place on a non-stick or clay baking tray. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat everything. Roast on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes until crisp tender. Set aside.
When the steak is ready, preheat your grill. Remove the steak from the marinade and place on the grill. Cook as the size requires and to your liking, basting frequently with the marinade. When the steak is done, cool, wrap in saran and chill.
When ready to eat, place your greens in separate serving bowls. Slice the steak and divide among the bowls, then add the roasted vegetables. My favorite dressing with this is a balsamic vinaigrette which you can make from scratch or buy bottled.
Easy Chinese Chicken Salad (adapted/alerted from Ina Garten’s recipe)
1 store-bought roasted chicken (or roast 2 large chicken breasts)
1/2 lb. of asparagus, ends removed, and cut in thirds diagonally
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded
2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced diagonally
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
3 Tb. of soy sauce
1-1/2 Tb. of dark sesame oil
1/2 Tb. of honey
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. of peeled, grated fresh ginger
1 Tb. of sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter
2 tsp. of salt & 1/2 tsp. of freshly ground black pepper
Remove the breasts from the roasted chicken. Take the skin off and discard. Shred the breasts into bite-sized pieces. Store remainder of chicken for another use.
Blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender. Place in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, then drain. Cut the peppers in strips. Combine the shredded chicken, asparagus, and peppers in a large bowl. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Add the scallions and sesame seeds and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.