I discovered coffee and vegetables go together in this Salmon-Mandarin Orange Salad with Asian Vinaigrette-Coffee Dressing. I put together a crisp green salad and served it with an Asian vinaigrette infused with coffee to spike up the flavors. The process was simple. First, make the dressing and chill it in the refrigerator for the flavors to blend. Then fix the salad. Whether it is meant to be a light side dish or a large, elegant entrée this salad with its savory dressing gives the meal a lift. Dress up the greens with slim strips of smoky salmon, citrus-sweet orange segments, an assortment of greens, crisp wonton strips, crunchy nuts and any other ingredients you want to toss in. Finally, serve the sophisticated coffee-infused vinaigrette on the side or pour at the table side.
Everything we do – big or small is important. Whether we bake a cake or whip up a salad, it’s still important. That we took the time with what little time we have in a day to put together the crunchy lettuce, the succulent slices of tomatoes, crisp cucumbers, assorted vegetables and condiments – these are all indications we care for our family or for ourselves and our own well-being.
Our daily lives are measured by the things we do to make a difference. When we give happiness, bring a smile to someone’s face by a simple act of sharing then that is significant.
Preparing a meal for our family or for friends are little things that make up a larger gesture. Take the opportunity today to make someone smile. No matter what circumstances are in your life right now, make someone’s day happy. Begin with this salad. It’s a great start.
Salmon-Mandarin Orange Salad with Asian Vinaigrette-Coffee Dressing
- 4 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 4 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee or freeze dried coffee
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
- 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup ginger ale
- 6 to 8 cups fresh lettuce
- 2 whole cucumbers peeled, seeded, sliced
- 2 whole large salad tomatoes sliced
- 1 cup sliced fresh asparagus blanched; cut into 2-inch length pieces
- 8 ounces smoked salmon sliced thin, into 2-inch length strips
- 1 cup orange segments
- 1/2 cup fried wonton strips from Chinese take-out; or store-bought
- 1/3 cup macadamia nuts or use other nuts preferred
- 2 stalks scallions chopped; divided, use 1 Tablespoon for dressing, the rest to sprinkle
- Prepare the Asian vinaigrette by mixing together all ingredients in a non reactive bowl or jar: rice vinegar, maple syrup, instant coffee (or freeze dried coffee), ginger ale, sea salt, black pepper, sesame oil, vegetable oil and scallions. Cover and shake to blend. Keep refrigerated till ready to use.
- In a large salad bowl, toss together the lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, asparagus. Arrange the smoked salmon and orange segments on top. Sprinkle the wonton strips and nuts. Garnish with the rest of scallions.
- Serve the dressing as a side to the salad or pour on the greens at tableside.
- Cook's comments: Fix the salad a few minutes before the meal so that vegetables are chilled and crisp. This is a forgiving recipe. Add or substitute other salad greens or condiments you prefer.
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Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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