Sunday, June 22, 2014

Grilled Salmon Salad With Orzo, Arugula And Roasted Peppers

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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 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 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

Serves 6

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

Olive oil
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.


  1. Yes, we are often on the same wave lengths. I love your daughter's roasted red peppers and the arugula is perfect for the greens. I think this recipe is a great one for "playing around" and adding your own touches. Perfecto!

    Thank you for your kind comments about my blog and my lovely husband Meakin. Be sure to give your precious Sous Chef a hug from me. I don't want her to be jealous :)

    1. I am so glad you approve! I used to hate arugula and now I can't get enough of it. Funny how one's tastes change as we get older..

      The Sous Chef would have nothing to do with the changing of your recipe. She is at the lake swimming with her sisters but will pass on the hug when she gets back.

    2. Sorry I massacred your photographer's name. It was late when I finished but It's fixed now.

  2. This looks heavenly and very summery to boot. I shall have to try this over the next couple of weeks, thank you.

    I'm much like you, always adapting recipes and fiddling with substitutes. Sometimes the best recipes are hatched this way, particularly things like grain salads. Of course, baking is another matter and there is good reason why one should never mess with batters and sponges.

    1. Do try it especially since you can get great salmon in your neck of the woods. It is scorching here today and with the soccer tonight, I can't wait to have the leftovers of the leftovers!

    2. Football (oops, I mean soccer) and salmon sound like the perfect combination. Enjoy the game and the leftovers.

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  4. Well, I made this on Sunday night and it was wonderful---tweaked it slightly to my own tastes
    (such as having all the ingredients at room temperature--chilled orzo isn't nice) but the essentials were there and the roasted peppers quite marvelous with the salmon, arugula, etc. Mixed feelings about the Kalamata Olives which seemed to dominate, but my Other Half loved them. For the dressing I went my own way with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest and a splash of white vinegar.
    Now suppose all this were attempted again, but with the addition of capers--what do you think?

    1. The thought of capers next also entered my mind. The Kalamatas shouldn't have overpowered, only half cup. This is the kind of thing you can tweak to your heart's content. Wasn't it great though?! BTW, I only refrigerated as the orzo was still hot when I mixed. It should be eaten at room temperature. Thanks for pointing out.

  5. You and Sam certainly have much in common. Both of your salmon and orzo salads sound delicious. Ina also has a great grilled salmon salad that could benefit from the inclusion of orzo. Her's uses raspberry vinegar, dill and capers.

    1. Penny,

      You are also in that group. I have saved many of your recipes. I must try that third variation.


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