Monday, June 27, 2011

Salad Days

Cooking has not been a priority lately, so I have been assembling salads. These are two of my favorites. The first is a simple preparation of tasty Italian ingredients - duck prosciutto, fennel and blood oranges. The second is inspired by Sweden. This salad has a bit of smoked salmon, dill and cucumber drizzled with a mustard dressing.

Fennel, Blood Orange, and Duck Prosciutto Salad
1 bulb of fennel
4 small blood oranges
8 ounces of duck prosciutto
Extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Prepare the fennel: Remove the feathery leaves and set aside. Finely slice the entire bulb and stalks. Alternatively, reserve the stalks for a roast vegetable mixture. Toss the fennel slices and the leaves into a large salad bowl. Drizzle olive oil over the fennel salad. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the peel and pith from the oranges by slicing off the top, bottom and down each side. Slice the orange into rounds. Remove any seeds.

Plate the fennel salad and toss gently with the blood orange rounds. Add ¼ of the sliced prosciutto to each plate before serving.

Serves 4

Smoked Salmon and Spinach Salad
8 cups of fresh spinach
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
A handful of fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Capers, to serve
8 ounces of smoked salmon

Toss together the spinach, cucumber, onion and dill.

In a separate bowl, mix together the mustard, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper for the dressing. 

Plate 1/4 of the spinach salad per person. Drizzle with the dressing. Add capers and 1/4 of the smoked salmon to each plate.

Serves 4

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