Sarah Contrucci Smith of Ara Collective whipped us this dinner salad with an unexpected (and entirely delicious) combination of salmon and blueberries at her Valentine’s Day party this year. We couldn’t get enough of this light and healthy entree salad — see how Sarah served it at her Blue Valentine Girl’s Night here.
photographed by kate zimmerman
for the salad:
- 6 salmon steaks (or however much salmon you think your guests will eat!)
- Williams-Sonoma Potlatch Seasoning or your favorite blackened seasoning mix
- 2 6oz bags of greens like arugula and mixed herb greens
- 1 5oz container of shaved parmesan
- 3 ripe avocados
for the candied pecans:
- 1 8oz bag pecans
- splash of agave syrup
- dash of cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper
for the dressing:
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 3 tsp dijon mustard
- 4 green onion stems, diced up to the white ends
- salt and pepper, to taste
for the salad dressing:
- Dice the green onions into thin circles.
- Add EVOO, lemon juice, mustard, green onions, and salt and pepper into a small mixing bowl. Whip together with a small wire whisk until the oil and lemon juice are mixed and no longer separating. Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.
- Let sit in the refrigerator for a few hours before assembling salad.
for the pecans:
- Warm up a non-stick sauté pan on low to medium heat. Add the pecans to pan.
- Roast for a few minutes until slightly brown, stirring often so they don't burn.
- Add a splash of the agave syrup so it lightly covers all of the nuts. Stir quickly, until the syrup thickens and coats the nuts like candy.
- Add a dash of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like them)
- Remove from pan and let cool.
for the salmon:
- Cover salmon with seasoning on the meat (not skin) side. A little extra never hurts and some always falls off.
- Heat non-stick pan with a little EVOO on medium heat.
- Place salmon steaks on the skin side and cover pan. Turn down to low-medium heat.
- Let salmon cook on the skin side for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon flakes off with a fork.
for salad assembly:
- Mix together greens.
- Sprinkle blueberries, shaved parmesan, candied pecans, and avocado slices over greens.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad.
- Top with blackened salmon.
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