This weekend marks at least the 3rd or 4th time this year that St. Louis has had record heat. Who wants to cook anything when it’s 90 degrees outside?
For all the cooking I do, I haven’t mastered the art of cold meals. I don’t particularly like them. Cold is for snacks and desserts and beverages. Think of cold cereal and PBJ – convenience meals. Now, hot food on the other hand – that’s what’s for dinner. However, I conceded the need to reduce the amount of time that I used my burners. Salmon was on sale, so I decided to make Salmon with Spinach Salad and Miso Vinaigrette.
Cooking Light said this was a 20-minute meal, and they’re right. First I made the vinaigrette. The recipe calls for white miso but I had red miso – which worked just as well. I added the miso to canola oil, grated ginger, sugar, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar, and whisked them together in a small bowl.
Once I had the vinaigrette made, I cooked the salmon (4 minutes per side) over medium-high heat in a non-stick skillet. (That’s less than 10 minutes with the stove on!) I sliced the cucumber as finely as I could while the salmon cooked. I tried toasting sesame seeds in the microwave but they didn’t really toast.
I split the entire salad (9 ounces spinach, plus cucumber) between two plates and topped it with most of the dressing and (untoasted) sesame seeds. I topped each salad with 8 ounces of salmon, then topped the fish with the remaining dressing.
I’m not a huge fan of salads, but I can say that this was one of the best salads I’ve ever made! It’s the most perfectly I’ve ever cooked salmon – it was moist and delicious. The dressing was great – bright from the ginger, salty and savory from the miso, and not too vinegary. The thinnest slices of cucumber meshed best with the salad. I really enjoyed the wilted spinach that was underneath the salmon.
I really enjoyed this salad, so I will definitely make this recipe again at some point. Next time, I will be sure to toss the salad with the dressing, because that tastes better than simply topping the salad. I’ll still save a little dressing to coat the salmon. Since I enjoyed the spinach underneath the salmon because the hot fish wilted it, I may try to turn this into a gently-wilted spinach salad – not hot, just easier to eat.