We've been living here in the Midwest for over 6 years, and in that time we have had maybe 1 overnight guest that wasn’t our son and his wife. One. Uno. But all that changed this fall when we find ourselves with four different overnight guests over the span of about 6 weeks. Of course we are very excited for each guest, but it does make for quite a busy time here in the Circle B Kitchen.
And isn’t that just the way life is? Who knows if we’ll ever have overnight guests again, but let’s make sure they all arrive within days of each other. I’m certainly not complaining, mind you. These are all people for whom I would gladly clean house, guest quarters and bathrooms. And I will happily cook for them all as much as they will tolerate. But my point is that with guests at hand, I tend to cook and eat way more than usual. Well, somewhat more than usual, anyway.
So after cousin Katie’s departure (miss you!) and a week of indulgent eating, it seemed that Sunday night’s dinner was destined to be a salad. I grabbed this one out of the “make it” file and promptly stuck a fillet of grilled salmon on top.
There were many things about this salad that won my heart, not the least of which is how incredibly good it is. But I’m also quite partial to one-dish meals, and this is definitely a meal unto itself. Yes, it won my heart and I will most definitely be making it again. You don’t really have to be recovering from an over-indulgent week of eating to make this salad; just in the mood for some very good eats that happen to be good for you as well. If it helps assuage a little guilt, all the better. Here’s the recipe…
ASPARAGUS AND NEW POTATO SALAD WITH GRILLED SALMON AND BUTTERMILK DRESSING
Recipe Adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle
To make this recipe even easier, you can just add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice to your favorite ranch dressing and use that instead of the dressing called for here. I added a little lemon juice to my homemade ranch dressing and it was ever so good.
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound new potatoes (red or white creamers will work fine)
8 ounces salad greens
6 grilled or roasted salmon fillets (6 to 8 oz each)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 or 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (plus extra for salad greens)
Pinch of finely grated lemon zest
3 teaspoons chopped chives or minced green onion
3 teaspoons minced Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Trim the asparagus spears at the point where they naturally want to break and then cut in half or thirds. Lightly oil the asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus in the oven on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the spears, turning at least once. Set aside.
Meanwhile, rinse and dry the potatoes, then cut into halves or quarters. Toss in a small amount of oil to lightly coat. Season well with salt and pepper. Spread cut-side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast until the cut side in contact with the pan is brown and crispy, about 10-12 minutes. If quartered, turn the potatoes so the other cut side is down. Continue to roast until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a knife, about 8 minutes longer.
While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing. Combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, lemon juice, lemon zest, chives and parsley. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. The dressing may be made a day ahead and kept refrigerated.
Lightly dress the greens with a squeeze of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Assemble the greens, asparagus and warm roasted potatoes on a plate and top with the cooked salmon fillet. Drizzle with the lemon buttermilk dressing and serve.