Fresh Tuna Salad with Avocado
Nan McEvoy created this salad after falling in love with the incredible olive oil-poached tuna prepared by her friend Paul Bertolli, the former chef at Oliveto’s in nearby Oakland. McEvoy uses albacore tuna here, but any fresh tuna will do. In addition to spooning the salad into avocado halves, she also uses it as a sandwich filling and a topping for crostini.
Poaching salmon in wine gives it a lovely flavor; using the poaching liquid to make a vinaigrette is a delicious way to dress the salad.
Pan-Roasted Grouper with Tomato and Butter Bean Salad
This dish is all about my home state,” Hopkins says. The grouper represents the coast, while the creamy butter beans, tomato and dill exemplify the seasonal bounty. “It’s Georgia on a plate.
Smoked Fish Salad with Pickled Beans and Eggs
Pickles add a tangy crunch to salads, and the brine is delicious in vinaigrettes. Chef Spike Gjerde pickles his own beans at his Baltimore restaurants, but using store-bought versions in this mid-Atlantic take on a Nicoise salad works well, too.
Sumac-Crusted Black Cod Salad
Maria Hines coats buttery-rich cod with ground sumac, a fruity, tart berry that grows wild in the Middle East and Italy.
Purists would insist on imported Italian canned tuna fish for the Tuscan classic, but we think plain old tuna from the supermarket is just fine, too. However, make sure the fish is packed in oil; not only will the tuna be infinitely more flavorful, we use the oil as part of the dressing.
Smoked Mackerel Salad with Crunchy Vegetables
“The fish we eat in Denmark–mackerel, herring, salmon–have beneficial omega-3 oils,” says Trina Hahnemann. Any smoked fish will work well in the sweet-salty salad here.
Swordfish with Grilled Romaine Salad
“When I got back from traveling in Thailand last year, my dad wanted to try something easy that mimicked the flavors there,” Jamie Bissonnette says. To oblige his father, he created a vinaigrette with Thai fish sauce to dress grilled romaine lettuce. He serves the salad alongside swordfish rubbed with (surprisingly) dried onion-soup mix. “It’s an instant flavor booster.”
Butter Bean, Tuna and Celery Salad
Big, creamy butter beans give a tuna and celery salad terrific heartiness. The salad would also be delicious spooned over slices of warm grilled country bread.
Striped Bass with Mango & Pickled Ginger Salad
Ripert is a master at combining French technique with Asian ingredients. Here, he creates a rich, red wine-ginger sauce and tangy, Thai-inspired mango salad to go with mild baked striped bass.
Smoked-Trout Salad with Mustard Dressing
“I’ve never met a wine I didn’t like,” says Lou Amdur of Lou in L.A. One of the wackiest he’s ever tasted is the amphorae-aged Vinoterra Kisi, made from the indigenous Georgian white grape Kisi. It’s unexpectedly delicious with smoked fish.
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