The inspiration: a long Shabbat afternoon spent with a friend
Shabbat afternoon is the time I use to catch up with my neighbors (who also happen to be good friends of mine). I live in an apartment building in Brooklyn that is home to about 30 families, and we are all like one big extended family. So many a late Shabbat afternoon (about 2 hours before nightfall on Saturday afternoon) you will find my kids and I visiting a neighbor and sharing a light meal with them. One of the foods we enjoy at that time besides challah is salad – something light to offset the heavy Shabbat lunch from several hours earlier. I will usually go to visit a friend with fresh produce or some sort of fish and between the two of us we make a couple of salads.
The innovation: pairing a fish with a stone fruit
Salads are fun – you can add so many different combinations. So one Shabbat afternoon I showed up to my friend’s house with donut peaches, leftover baked salmon, and roasted pistachios. It had been a last minute invite, and I was basically making it up as I went. This salad was originally made that Shabbat afternoon with iceberg lettuce, but the flavor of the peaches with the salmon and pistachios stuck with me. Donut peaches are not as sweet as regular peaches – they remind me of more of white peaches – and I find they work really well with salmon.
My interpretation: Salmon Salad with Donut Peaches and Pistachios
8 oz fresh, boneless/skinless salmon fillet, baked or grilled
10 to 12 oz spring greens or mesclun mix (you want a mixture that has both sweet and bitter greens)
3 donut peaches, pitted and sliced
large handful of roasted pistachios, crushed
a scant drizzle of best quality light olive oil
a two-finger pinch of sea salt (if desired)
1) Make sure the salmon is completely chilled if you are preparing it fresh. I have used leftover salmon as well – warm fish will wilt your greens.
2) Carefully flake the salmon, and mix the fish, peaches, and olive oil into the greens with your hands delicately.
3) Taste and add sea salt now if desired. If not, top with pistachios.
Recipe for a simple baked salmon
In an aluminum tray or pan, place your salmon skin side down. Add a sprinkle of salt and squeeze half of a fresh lemon over the fish. Cover tightly, bake at 350 for about 15mins. Fish is done when glistening and completely cooked through.