This gathering of nutritious ingredients, great textures, and amicable flavour combinations (yes, cherries and salmon are a match made in foodie heaven!) looks impressive enough to flaunt on social media, making your friends wish they had come over for dinner. And most of the work for this salad is hands-off time.
You can swap out black rice for black (beluga) lentils or quinoa. Rainbow trout or arctic char are good stand-ins for salmon.
When out of season, consider turning to frozen fruits such as cherries instead of their fresh counterparts. Harvested at peak ripeness and frozen quickly afterwards, they can actually be more nutrient dense than imported fresh versions. And subzero cherries are already pitted for you.
1/4 cup (60 mL) black rice
4 to 6 oz (112 to 170 g) wild salmon fillet
Salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
2 cups (500 mL) salad greens
1/3 cup (80 mL) sliced pickled beets
1/2 yellow or orange bell pepper, sliced
1/2 cup (125 mL) pitted fresh or frozen (thawed) cherries, halved
4 nicoise olives, optional
2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil or walnut oil
1 tsp (5 mL) balsamic vinegar
2 tsp (10 mL) fresh thyme
1/2 tsp (2 mL) capers
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped pistachios (optional)
In small saucepan, place black rice and 3/4 cup (180 mL) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Season salmon with salt and pepper (if using). Place salmon on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cook for 12 minutes, or until just barely cooked through in centre. Let cool for 5 minutes and then gently break apart flesh.
On serving plate, place salad greens, rice, beets, bell pepper, and salmon. For dressing, in small bowl, stir together cherries, olives, oil, vinegar, thyme, and capers. Top salad with dressing and scatter on pistachios (if using).