Sunday, June 26, 2011

Smokey Salmon Salad with a light buttermilk dressing

Smokey Salmon

Another very pleasant morning spent at Suffern farmers market. This time my whole family hung out in the weather which held promise. We've had some crazy thunder storms and very damaging flash flooding in Rockland County in the last couple of days. But yesterday morning the sun was trying to come out and indeed did show it's happy face for a while at the market.

Our most interesting purchase yesterday was a bottle of Jin Ja from "Auntie El's" farm stand. This ginger mixer or cordial as we would call it in Ireland, has cayenne and lemon, mint and green tea in it. It's totally delish on it's own although super refreshing with selzer. But of course I had designs on it for a weekend cocktail. Much fun testing it with some watermelon juice last night. More on that when cocktail recipe is perfected.

Anyway, on to the point of today's blog; grilled salmon. I've been on a marinade kick this week and I read a great article in the latest Bon Appetit Magazine, breaking down the components of a marinade. It appealed to me and the way I organize information in my mind; they suggest all marinades basically the following; An acid, salt, an allium (someone from the onion family), a touch of sweetness, some heat (e.g. chile) and some herbs.

Using this formula, I came up with the following marinade for my salmon. I've been on a smokey flavor kick in the last few days; I read a recipe using smoked trout, that really appealed to me. However, in the absence of some smoked trout, I was drawn to the smoked paprika in my spice cabinet. So I used that as my heat, lemon juice for the acid, salt, garlic, a little maple syrup and chopped chives. I also added some extra virgin olive oil, which just seemed to marry the whole lot together nicely.

This, coupled with some new potatoes, and a farmers market salad with buttermilk dressing made for a delicious summer dinner. The added bonus, my girls ate the salmon too; less so the salad but they'd gobbled some guacamole already so I felt that checked the veggie box.

Smokey Salmon

Smokey salmon and a light buttermilk dressing

4 salmon fillets
1/3-1/2 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 fat garlic clove minced
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons maple syrup


  1. Mix together all the ingredients and pour over the salmon
  2. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  3. Bring back up to room temperate before grilling
  4. Grill on medium high until cooked to your preference; approx 3 minutes a side for us.

Light Buttermilk Dressing

I've been working on a great tasting but light buttermilk salad dressing for weeks. I have set myself the goal of no store bought dressings in the house this summer. I really love this one and it's very healthy to boot. I haven't persuaded the kids to eat it yet, but am nowhere near giving up!


1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
1/2 cup low or non fat greek yogurt
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced to a paste
dash of tabasco
finely chopped herbs (I use chives, basil and parsley)


  1. Mix everything together and refridgerate for up to one week.
I served this with a salad of leaves and cucumbers alongside new potatoes.


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