Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm Getting My Cooking Mojo Back

Yes it's finally happened, it's here....... I really want to cook again.  I'm resurrecting old recipes, amending new ones and having a great time doing it.  Don't know if it's because it's high Winter and it's a great time for food, or because we went to the Hunter Valley last weekend and had some wonderful foodie experiences, or even because  my youngest is about to turn three and I just have a little more time........  but who cares why!!!! I just know it is back and for that I am very grateful.

For me it has to be fresh, quick and very tasty.  I love recipes with no more than six ingredients give or take, especially if it's mid week.  However, I'm not prepared to compromise of the fabulous factor.  This poached Salmon and Risoni Salad can be served warm or cold, so transfers well between the seasons.

Now I am well known around these parts for my salads, or at least I used to be.  Often when I am attending a Bar B Q with friends or family, they will ask me to bring the salad.  No matter if it's the 'pear walnut and rocket' one or the' lentils, avocado and tomato' one.  I have several secret ingredients which go into every salad I make.  The first one is Danish feta.... it has a velvety texture, similar to goats cheese and is quite salty, which adds another level of flavour.

The other secret is the vinaigrette, which is just 2 parts extra virgin olive oil to one part white vinegar, with Dijon mustard, the amount of which depends on the amount of dressing you are making. I usually make a small bottle of dressing at a time so I add 1 teaspoon of mustard to that and shake well so it emulsifies.
Another secret is that I often drizzle with lemon infused extra virgin olive oil.  So the salad is always very well dressed and has no risk of being dry.  Hence the sheen in these photos.

The recipe below started out as the Poached Salmon and Risoni Salad by Bill Granger, but when  I first made it, I thought it was a little bland.  So I basically added my secret ingredients as outlined above and it improved it greatly.

This recipe is also very cost effective as one piece of Salmon can feed up to four people as a luncheon meal or two hearty eaters for dinner.  So here's the recipe.

Poached Salmon and Risoni Salad
One medium sized piece of Atlantic Salmon
3 Dried Bay Leaves
200 grams of Risoni cooked according to packet instructions
One bunch of continental parsley chopped
One bunch of Dill chopped... (I didn't have this, as I forgot to buy it)
Three handfuls of baby spinach
One good handful of Danish Feta ( I love Mayers Brand) and a little extra for sprinkling
Lemon infused olive oil for drizzling (Optional)
Juice of half a lemon
One cup of frozen peas
Vinaigrette for dressing as described above

Place the salmon and bay leaves in a fry pan and cover with cold water.  Bring to the boil and turn off.  Let the salmon rest in the water until the salad is prepared. If you would rather have your salmon well cooked and not rare  in the middle ( as I do) let it bubble away for about a minute before turning it off.

Cook the pasta and throw the frozen peas in at the last minute, bring  the water to the boil again and drain immediately.

Remove the salmon from the pan and flake

Combine all the ingredients and toss, reserving a little feta and parsley to sprinkle on the top to enhance presentation.

Drizzle with the lemon infused olive oil if desired.

Serve and enjoy.

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, this salad tastes even better if you prepare it whilst watching the Tour de France highlights drinking  a glass of rose.  And how appropriate that the best shot I took of the TV was the one which had a spectator madly waving the French flag as the leaders flew by.....I just know it's a sign that I need to get there ASAP.
Today I am linked up with


  1. That looks so yummy! Great tips too. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. I hope that now you've got your cooking mojo back you might share some more recipes...please!!

    Best wishes,

  2. Yum - this looks great! I LOVE cooking as well and look for every opportunity to try out new recipes or give a fresh twist to an old favourite. Am a real fan of Bill Granger as well. Can't wait to give it a go. ;)Sharyne

  3. Nice salad. Will love trying it out. Love the tour de France touch. I noticed it twice.

  4. That looks so good!!! I love salads and your secret ingredient sounds wonderful!!

  5. That looks so delicious. We eat a lot of salmon and I'm always looking for interesting ways of cooking it. This will be dinner next week, thank you.

  6. yaaaa for your mojo!!! Nice post.

  7. Carolyn,
    That looks delicious! I can see why you were know for salads. I lost my cooking mojo this spring too. I became allergic or had cross reactions to things I was never allergic to before. I couldn't eat a lot and I didn't feel like cooking it either. But, I have been cooking lately, again. Thanks for sharing this at HSH!

  8. Carolyn, this is lovely. It would be great if you linked it to Food on Friday: Pasta. The showcases from this Food on Friday have not yet been selected. This link will take you to my home page where you will find a sidebar with links to all the different Food on Fridays. So that I know you have linked and can be sure to pin to the board I have for each one, please do leave a short comment. Cheers


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