This version of Italian panzanella salad gets a protein and healthy fat boost courtesy of the addition of buttery salmon, while crispy quinoa offers a fun and more nutritious alternative to bread cubes. And the basil dressing adds bright flavour to each forkful.
For enhanced basil flavour, add some whole leaves to salad greens. You can also make the salad with rainbow trout or arctic char. When in season, consider including sliced local peaches.
Soaking raw red onion in a bowl of ice water for several minutes reduces some of its bite.
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) cooked quinoa
1 lb (450 g) wild salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced red onion
1 cup (250 mL) fresh basil
3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive or camelina oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 garlic clove, chopped
8 cups (2 L) tender salad greens
2 cups (500 mL) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces
1/3 cup (80 mL) sliced Kalamata olives
2 oz (57 g) crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread cooked quinoa out on baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times, or until crispy. Remove from oven and let cool.
Place salmon on parchment paper-lined baking sheet, season with salt and pepper, if desired, and roast in 350 F (180 C) oven for 15 minutes, or until just cooked through in the middle. Gently break apart the flesh with fork. Alternatively, you can also prepare salmon on an outdoor grill.
Place onion slices in bowl, cover with cold water, and let soak for at least 15 minutes.
To make vinaigrette, blanch basil in small saucepan of boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain and immediately rinse under cold water. Transfer to blender container along with oil, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) water, lemon juice, garlic, and a couple pinches of salt; purée until smooth.
Divide salad greens, salmon, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, and goat cheese (if using) among serving plates. Drizzle on basil dressing and sprinkle on crispy quinoa.