|Blackened Salmon & Strawberry Salad|
There are some flavor combinations that just cry out to coexist. Combinations that hold a rightful place next to the greatest love affairs of human and culinary history...Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Carrie Bradshaw and Big, chocolate and peanut butter, tomato sauce and bread.
As rules are meant to be broken, I'd like to add a TRIO of flavors to the annals of flavor history: strawberries + goat cheese + pecans.
I've come across this trifecta of awesomeness several times in the past, but it particularly struck me a few weeks ago Merchants Restaurant in downtown Nashville. I wasn't incredibly hungry for dinner so I ordered the Salmon Strawberry salad for a light bite.
20 10 minutes later, my plate was empty and I had half a mind to order round #2. The coolness of fresh strawberries with tangy goat cheese and rich pecans was infinitely luscious and paired perfectly with deeply seasoned salmon. Time saved me from salad gluttony (if there is such a thing), but I knew I had to create an LL Balanced version and re-live the magic.
In my recipe, I add roasted sweet potatoes and caramelize my pecans in maple syrup cause...well, yeah. My blackening seasoning was inspired by this recipe, and I'll be making it again for various proteins and vegetables in the future. If you want to use a fancier dressing than just white balsamic, go for it! But I personally think there's so much flavor elsewhere that simple is the way to go.
I do not eat or recommend consumption of cheese daily, but I adore it and think it can be a fabulous addition to a healthy diet, if it doesn't cause you tummy troubles. Goat cheese in particular can be easier to digest that cheese made from cows milk, and its tang + creamy texture are perfection in this salad.
The recipe list and instructions here might look daunting, but I promise you people, this is easy peasy. The only thing you want to keep track of is timing, as you'll be cooking and roasting at the same time.
This salad reminds me of how food is so much more than fuel—food is pleasure and balance, color and texture and memory. I hope you'll give this incomparable combination of ingredients a try and share your experience with me!