Just a short break in the travelogue to post a recipe – the name She’s Cookin’ implies cooking after all, not just eating 🙂
After being gone two weeks, I came home to fresh spinach and spring salad greens in the garden (The Don outdid himself this year)
and a refrigerator full of long past the Enjoy-By date liquids and a crisper drawer full of – well you know…
I thoughtfully arranged for a Farm Fresh To You delivery during my absence so The Don would have fresh, organic fruit to fuel his hours at the office – no more chips or take-out food since the strict orders for a low-sodium diet were handed down. He wasn’t quite sure what the golden oblong fruits were, or how to eat them. I couldn’t bear to waste the lonely overripe mangoes dotting the shelves, so peeled them and saved the sweet pulp figuring I could use it in a smoothie. Actually we feel better about the plant-based food that we have to throw out because it’s all being composted now 🙂
After a visit to the farmers market with Alisha of The Ardent Epicure, the mango pulp became the inspiration for a sauce or vinaigrette to pair with the loquats, mulberries, and/or kohlrabi that I picked up. Naturally, we tasted and bought some very fine cheeses from Picnic’s Fine Foods (plan on savoring the Beemster Classic aged Dutch Gouda tonight with a smashing squash and carrot soup I fashioned after the Queen’s Day soup I had on the barge) and I encouraged Alisha to try a cherimoya – can’t wait to see what beautiful salad she creates from her goodies.
You can’t get any more local than baby lettuce picked from your garden and, with the pureed mango, made a creamy “salad dressing” with avocado olive oil and Greek style yogurt to complement the sweetness and acidity of the loquats and sliced mango. Since Don eats only raw fruits and nuts during the day I like to include a protein for a little more heft in his one meal a day, so a fillet of salmon with a dab of lime butter finished the salad nicely.
Have you ever had a loquat? First time for me, so I did a little online research at Melissa’s Produce : the Loquat originated in China, but was cultivated and improved by the Japanese for more than 1,000 years. It is a small, pear-shaped, yellow to orange fruit with a thin, smooth, fuzzy skin, which resembles an apricot in size and color. Bite into this fruit and you will find three to five large brown seeds surrounded by a creamy, pale yellowish-orange flesh. The texture is reminiscent of a cherry or plum crossed with a lychee. It has a delightful balance of sweetness and acidity with a floral fruit flavor and slight honey taste.
I loved them! On to the recipe:
Baby Greens with Mango, Loquat and Mango Sauce
Serves 2 -4
If serving the salad with Salmon with Lime Butter you will need:
1 lb. salmon fillet, skin removed*
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
fresh ground pepper
(I don’t add salt, but you can)
Directions for lime butter:
Juice half the lime, reserve the other half to squeeze on top of the salmon while cooking.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan or heat in a ramekin in the microwave for 20 seconds. Add the garlic, lime juice, a few grinds of pepper. Stir with a fork and pour into a ramekin. Refrigerate for at least an hour to solidify. Can be made 1 day ahead.
For the Salad:
1 mango, skinned and sliced
2 loquats, skinned and sliced
Garnish: Thai basil or mint (optional)
For Mango Sauce:
½ cup mango puree
¼ cup light oil, such as sunflower, canola or avocado*
2 Tablespoons lowfat Greek yogurt
Use an emulsion (hand) blender or blender to puree mango, add oil and yogurt and blend together.
1. Prepare the Lime Butter and Mango Sauce
2. Preheat the oven to Broil. Line a rimmed cookie sheet or toaster oven pan with aluminum foil. Spray with canola oil. Place salmon filets on sheet, brush with canola oil and squeeze lime juice on top.
3. Broil the salmon for about 6 minutes. Fish is done when fillets flake with gentle pressure from a fork. Remove from oven.
Prepare plates with a swirl of the Mango Sauce, arrange spring greens, loquat and mango slices. Place salmon fillet on salad and, using a small scoop, top with Lime Butter.
*Notes: usually I leave the skin on fish for added flavor, but in a salad, it’s better served without the skin.
Avocado oil added a distinct avocado taste, so works well if you want to add avocado instead of salmon for a vegetarian option.