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the haas machine: Smoked Salmon Salad

Monday, July 1, 2013

Smoked Salmon Salad

There was a time in my life where creme brulle was my "usual." For dinner, I regularly ate fillet mignon or artichoke slather. Lobster bisque was common & often times I would try to sample the most expensive red wines possible (which weren't always better than the cheap-o stuff, by the way). You might be wondering, how in the heck did I afford all these luxuries? These meals weren't cheap, & they definitely were not in my budget. But I wasn't into "dining & dashing" or washing dishes to make even. These meals were given to me as a bonus for working at one of the finest cafes I have ever worked at/dined at. Ever.

Although this was, by far, one of the most challenging jobs I have ever had (I worked mostly in the summer, in a tiny building with no air conditioning, which caters more often than not to tourists & wealthy crunchy people with all kinds of preferences, allergies, & opinions), I learned so much about food while working there. I really believe this is where my passion for things like chocolate caramel tarts & pistachio crusted goat cheese were born. Heck, I didn't even know that arugula was a thing before working there. My foodie addiction can be blamed on this gem of a restaurant.

There were many, many more meals spent at the Scenic. It was & probably still is, one of the best places to celebrate anything.... birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, you name it. But the thing that's really exceptional about the Scenic is that it's also the perfect place to stop on your way back from a hike or just when you want a homemade bowl of soup & crusty bread. You don't get looked at strangely if you come in wearing chacos & smell of sunscreen, but you also can expect to see people dressed in their best.

It was the first (fancy) place we took Ruby after she was born. She was just six weeks old when we celebrated our 2nd anniversary & we didn't want to go anywhere else besides the Scenic. So I snuggled her in my Moby wrap & prayed that she would make it through our meal happily, which she most definitely did. She must have know that creme brulle was coming later.
This smoked salmon salad is inspired by the Scenic. Although it is sadly no longer on their summer menu, it remains dear to my heart. There were many a day when all I wanted after a sweaty, frustrating shift was a big plate of fresh lettuce & cherry tomatoes, covered by hunks of salty salmon & cheese. I didn't want something heavy or hearty (although the portions at the Scenic are more European than American), so a light salad was just the trick.

And it's the perfect meal for the days when you can't bear to turn on the oven. There's absolutely no cook time for this meal. The salmon & cheese are packed with all kinds of energizing proteins & you'll be quite satisfied with yourself for choosing such a healthy option for dinner. And believe me, you'll also think that you're getting away with something scandalous, because it tastes that amazing!

Make sure that you get wild caught smoked salmon. We purchased ours at our local food co-op & although it's pricey, a little goes a long way. This salad is best served with, you guessed it, more crusty bread & a splash of balsamic vinaigrette. 
Smoked Salmon Salad
Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 pack of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 ounces plain goat cheese, crumbled
4 ounces smoked salmon
Balsamic vinaigrette

Chop the lettuce & place it on two large plates. Pile on the sliced cherry tomatoes, crumbled goat cheese, & smoked salmon. Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette & serve with a toasty baguette.

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