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Wild Salmon Salad with Lime Zest Vinaigrette

If you are lucky enough to be stuck in an on-again, off-again wintry mix storm in Texas, as I was recently, the best place to be is in Denton at my friend Melanie’s house. Rose has a big backyard to roll around in, and a friend next door — Pontus, the Irish wolfhound — who likes to come over and play with her. I usually become far too interested in big screen television (conveniently located in the den adjacent to the kitchen), and get far less done that I intend do.

I don’t have a television so it always feels like I’m on vacation when I’m around one. But then again, I get completely confused by the remotes, so I let Melanie drive. Melanie also understands that I sometimes like to take a backseat to the dinner planning, too — and she decided we should have salmon, spinach and sweet potatoes for dinner one night – simple, and perfect — and we had all of this leftover salmon.

So I told her I was taking the wheel in the kitchen the next night, and I’d use the leftover salmon to make something fun, in this case, an easy salad with warn, just-roasted Brussels sprouts added in at the last moment for crunch and flavor — an idea I got from a tenderloin salad I had at Dee Lincoln Steak & Burger Bar for lunch the week before, while I was out sampling burgers for a story I’m writing for Four Seasons magazine.

Another tough assignment.

The idea of mixing greens with roasted Brussels sprouts is a great one and before they’re completely gone, I’m buying them as often as I can and just adding them to whatever salad I’m putting together, turning a plain ol’ salad into something roasted, warm and wintry.

Just the thing for a cold night in Texas – or wherever you happen to be.

Wild Salmon Salad

Makes 2 dinner-size salads

1. Put the coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and when it’s hot, add the Brussels sprouts and a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Cook, tossing until all sides are browned. Taste and adjust seasonings now if you need to.

2. While the Brussels sprouts are cooking, put everything else in a large salad bowl — the mixed greens, cilantro, leftover salmon, avocado and cherry tomatoes. Add the hot brussels sprouts, toss with some of the Lime Zest Vinaigrette and serve right away.

Lime Zest Vinaigrette

Makes about ¾ cup

Put your sherry vinegar, shallot, Dijon mustard, and lime zest into an old jam jar with a pinch of sea salt and pepper and give it a good shake. Let rest for 10 minutes; then add the olive oil and shake again. Taste for seasonings.