This main-dish salad is a complete meal. Salmon is an incredibly healthy food. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Wild salmon is healthier than farm-raised salmon but it tastes gamier. My family prefers the taste of farm-raised and I buy it from a reputable fish store. I trim the fat, as many of the cancer-causing contaminants that are a source of concern in farm-raised salmon are stored in the fat. But farm-raised salmon has its benefits too — believe it or not, because farm-raised salmon gets less exercise than wild salmon, it may actually contain more of the protective omega-3 fatty acids. The salmon industry has taken steps in recent years to ensure the healthfulness of the farm-raised variety, and certainly experts agree that the health benefits of salmon outweigh the risks. That said, if you like wild salmon, it is a healthier way to go.
11⁄2 pounds salmon fillet, with skin and pin bones removed
1⁄8 teaspoon fine sea salt
8 sprigs fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon white wine
2 (1-inch) pieces of fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced, divided
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin
1⁄3 cup water
3 ounces mesclun lettuce
1 cup watercress, break off and discard thicker stems
leaves from 2 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1⁄4 cup soy nuts, for optional garnish
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Prepare a large rectangle of aluminum foil. Lay the salmon in the center of the foil.
Season with salt. Arrange the cilantro sprigs over the top. Drizzle with wine. Toss on half the ginger slices and the lemon slices. Seal the foil package. Place onto cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: Place the shredded carrot, remaining ginger, oil, vinegar, mirin, and water into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade.
Process until smooth.
Arrange the mesclun on the serving platter. Top with most of the watercress.
After removing the salmon from the oven, open the packet. Scrape off and discard the cilantro, ginger, and lemon. Break the salmon into bite-sized chunks and place on mesclun. Scatter with chopped cilantro leaves. Drizzle with the dressing. Top with more watercress. If using, scatter with soy nuts.
Makes six servings