quinoa salmon lemon and dill salad photo by vsimon
It’s too hot to cook!
Luckily, I have some leftover salmon from yesterday. What to do with it?
Quinoa is quick on the stovetop, it won’t heat up the kitchen. I have lemons and celery in the fridge. Dried tomatoes in the freezer. And lots of fresh dill in the garden.
White, red, black, purple, orange? I have used white and red, the only difference is the color. Any color would work here, use whatever you have.
Wild or farm raised salmon?
There is only one answer for me, wild caught Alaskan salmon. Click on the link for a thorough review of all the issues at World’s Healthiest Foods website.
Lemons 1, 2, or 3?
You choose. Are you timid, or do you like lots of tangy lemon flavor? Are you making this to serve right away, or for tomorrow?
We like sharp, fresh lemon flavor and heady aroma. Personally, I almost don’t think you can get too much. And the flavor fades over time. So I made this with the zest and juice of two lemons for tonight. And will add the zest and juice of a third lemon before I serve the leftovers tomorrow.
I buy fresh lemons by the bag, not one at a time. Don’t even bother with that insipid bottled juice. And add fresh zest to anything that calls for juice.
And I hope you know, fresh lemons are a great way to add flavor to foods without adding a whole bunch of salt.
Yep, that is what I have. Dried from last years garden. Red, yellow and orange tomatoes. I know they look like colored bell peppers in the picture, but they are tomatoes. Come to think of it, sweet peppers would be good in this salad, but I didn’t have any.
I keep our thin dried tomatoes in the freezer because they are crispy and easy to break up into smaller pieces by hand. At room temp they are leathery and I need to cut them with a knife or scissors.
Our crop of garden tomatoes won’t be ripe until August. But by all means, use fresh tomatoes if you have good ones. I would stir in about 1 cup diced raw tomatoes at the end. Don’t cook them with the quinoa.
Dill is a two-fer. The seeds and the soft feathery green fronds each have their purpose. Use the fronds here. Vince puts whole seed spays in jars of pickles. They are pretty and add flavor there.
Go ahead, plant this fragrant herb in your garden. Dill is so easy, you will only have to do it once. You will get volunteers every year after.
Sow a few seeds it in the veggie or the flower garden. It quickly grows about three feet high, with a starburst of seeds at the top.
If you can’t find a packet of seeds, just buy dill seeds in the spice aisle and plant them.
Dried dill weed works well in this recipe too. It is mild, don’t be afraid to use a few tablespoons. But you will miss out on the distinctive fragrance of fresh stalks.
Fresh herbs are another great help to add flavor without lots of salt too.
Quinoa Salmon Salad with Lemon and Dill
1 cup quinoa
2 cups of water
1/4 cup dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 pound cooked salmon, flaked
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill weed, soft fronds only
salt to taste
Check the quinoa package to see if you need to rinse it before cooking. Many kinds are now prewashed, saving you a step.
Add quinoa, water and dried tomatoes to a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes. Then cover the pan and let stand for 15 more minutes. It always comes out fluffy, not mushy this way.
Spread the quinoa tomato mixture on a rimmed sheet pan to cool quickly.
When cool, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add celery and dill.
Add the zest and juice of as many lemons as you like. Toss to mix thoroughly. Taste and chill until ready to serve.
Did you notice the nasturtiums in the photo above? They are from our garden too, and edible. The flowers are bright, beautiful and peppery. They provide a surprising kick of heat. They are easy to grow in full sun, flowering all summer long.