The bounty of spring
Norwegian touches like smoked salmon and dilled vinaigrette create a satisfying meal in this salad from Outside Oslo
Springtime brings with it a promise that winter is gone and warmer days are on their way. Blue skies emerge from the overcast shroud of winter, and flowers bloom everywhere one looks. Even the rain, when it chills our still-thawing spirits for a few hours, serves a purpose if just to help bring about the fresh, clean essence of this glorious time of the year.
It is during springtime that the hearty meals of the past six months give way to fresher ingredients and lighter preparations. Salads—far from simply a dieter’s food—showcase the bounty of the season with satisfying textures, flavors, and colors.
This particular salad could be called a Norwegian variation on the French salade Niçoise. With each component artfully arranged on salad plates or shallow bowls, each serving features a generous portion of smoked salmon along with cucumber, egg, pickled asparagus, and mâche that’s been tossed in a simple dilled vinaigrette.
Composed Salad of Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, Mâche, Egg, and Asparagus
For the vinaigrette:
3 tablespoons walnut oil
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
½ teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the salad:
1 package (3 or 4 oz?) mâche
12 spears of pickled asparagus
4 soft-boiled eggs, halved
8 ounces smoked salmon, sliced
1 medium cucumber, thinly sliced
1 lemon, quartered
To make the dressing, whisk walnut oil, champagne vinegar, dill, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper together in a small bowl until emulsified. Toss mâche with the dressing until coated.
Distribute mâche between four salad plates or shallow bowls, then arrange three asparagus spears, one egg, two ounces of salmon, a quarter of the cucumber slices, and a lemon wedge on each plate. Serve immediately.
Daytona Strong is the voice of Outside Oslo, a blog exploring her Norwegian heritage and love of great food. Check out her blog at www.outside-oslo.com and follow it at www.facebook.com/OutsideOslo and http://www.twitter.com/OutsideOslo.
This article originally appeared in the April 19, 2013 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.