I love to cook, but even I don’t love to cook when the weather is hot and sticky and I’ve been out all day and all I want is a shower, a cool room and a quick dinner.
On those days I grill something easy and fast, like a chicken breast or fish filet. Or I make a sandwich or sometimes even plain old scrambled eggs for dinner.
Sometimes I don’t cook at all. Like when I have leftovers and can mix them with the packaged ingredients that I always keep handy in my kitchen: canned beans, frozen peas, dried fruit and items like that. This is the stuff of a good summer salad.
This salmon salad is just one example of the kind of quick-to-fix food that I think is perfect for a hot summer day. And also if you lose power in a hurricane because if you don’t happen to have leftover salmon, you can use a 15-ounce can of salmon (don’t forget to keep a manual can opener in your miscellaneous equipment drawer).
The recipe is versatile of course. If you don’t have peas, use corn; no cranberries — use raisins; no white beans, use black. And so on.
Salmon Salad with White Beans, Blue Cheese and Dried Cranberries
2 cups crumbled leftover cooked salmon (or 15-ounce can red salmon, drained)
2 cups cooked white beans (or 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed and drained)
1 cup thawed frozen peas
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon grated fresh orange peel
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the salmon in a large bowl and break it up slightly. Add the beans, peas, cheese, scallions, cranberries, orange peel, dill and mint. Toss gently to distribute the ingredients evenly. In a small bowl mix the vegetable oil, lemon juice and orange juice. Pour over the ingredients and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings