This is the first recipe I have ever posted and "adapted" from a fellow food blogger and friend. Her name is Sam Hoffer and she publishes the popular cooking blog, My Carolina Kitchen. I drool over everything she posts, including the photos of her recipes, a collaboration with the best in-house photographer any food blogger could ever dream of, her husband Meakin. Moreover, I know I can trust her recipes and that is not something I often or easily say.
When I saw the original recipe for Mediterranean Salmon Salad I knew that I had to make it, particularly since we were having grilled salmon that night. I had plenty on hand for dinner with enough to keep for what promised to be the queen of leftover grilled salmon recipes. Perfect timing...my friend Sam and I are usually on the same wave length.
The next night I asked my daughter to start the orzo but, before I knew it, she had already mixed in some of the roasted peppers we had grilled the night before and prepared the dressing. Oh dear! I had dreamed about this recipe all day, just the way it was. Not wanting to hurt her feelings I decided to go with the flow. Salmon, orzo, grilled peppers...something good had to come out of this. And it did...as a matter of fact, it was terrific and good enough to post and file. A big part of the success was the white balsamic dressing my daughter had come up with which went better with the roasted peppers and perfectly complimented the peppery arugula and the Kalamata olives. Sam's had a lemon based dressing. This had lemon balm which, incidentally, is threatening to take over the yard!
I will make the original salad next time. Now I am anxious to see what it tastes like with lemon and practice what I preach...Don't go changing a recipe until you have tried the original first
Whether you make Sam's original recipe or my variation with roasted peppers and white balsamic, you will come out with the perfect meal for a hot summer night or a picnic. If you try mine, play around with the measurements. Mix the salmon and vegetables in a bowl and start adding the orzo until you come out with a ratio to your liking. Same with the arugula. If when you are done you feel it needs extra olives or anything else, by all means add it!
Grilled Salmon Salad With Orzo, Arugula And Roasted Peppers
Like Sam, I grilled the salmon the night before after marinading it in soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil.
1 lbs. cold grilled wild salmon, flaked in large pieces
4 cups cooked Orzo, room temperature
4 roasted red, yellow and orange peppers, cut in small strips
2 large scallions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped and seeded tomatoes
1/2 cup Kalamata olives cut in half
3 TB chopped lemon balm
3 TB chopped fresh oregano or basil
2 cups of arugula
White Balsamic Vinegar*
In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let sit for about an hour so the flavors will meld. Drizzle the white balsamic vinegar just before you serve. Toss and enjoy!
*Red balsamic vinegar will give the salad a funny color thus the use of white.