salad book meal. The rules apply big time. It came together around an ingredient recently introduced to me by lovely Rachel. (Seriously people, click through. Her blog is a dream.) Trader Joe's has adorable sardine-tin-style cans of smoked trout fillet. Some bits have that chewy browned texture you sometimes see in smoked fish that almost feels like smokey candy. (I know that sounds weird. It's something I love, though.) And to me, smoked trout vaguely falls at the intersection of Scandinavian cuisine and Ashkenazi Jewish appetizing (and might actually be the only thing at that deserted intersection). The latter cuisine includes one of my favorite flavors, horseradish, so I wanted to try including it in the dressing for a smoked trout salad. I happened to have good green beans on hand from the farmer's market, and a couple Persian cucumbers that had to be used up. I knew whatever greens I'd use would have to contend with the strong flavors of the horseradish and smoked fish, so I picked up some peppery arugula.
For the whole grain contribution, I veered Scandanavian. My good friend Jon has spent much time in Sweden, and years ago introduced me to the the wonderful world of Wasa crackers. Miraculously, the chronically disappointing Los Feliz Albertson's actually carries them, and the light rye variety fit the bill just right. Dark rye toast would have also been nice.
I used parsley in the dressing and basil in the salad, mostly because they grow on my balcony. Basil's an odd choice, but it needed to be pruned, and it turned out pretty good. Dill would be great here.
Fresh, light, smokey, tangy, and with a little horseradishy heat. Totally satisfying summer dinner. Definitely one for the salad book.
Smoked Trout and Green Bean Salad with Horseradish Dressing
1 tsp olive oil (Go for a mild one. I used a strongly-flavored kalamata olive oil that I usually love, but it overpowered the dressing.)
2 tsp yogurt (I used Greek-style 2% yogurt)
1 baby kosher dill, minced
Salt and lots of fresh-ground pepper
1 tsp horseradish (or to taste)
Pickle juice (Fresh lemon juice would be nice here too, but lemons suck right now.)
1 Persian cucumber, sliced
1 handful green beans -- stems removed, 1 inch slices
1 canned smoked trout filet from TJ's, oil drained off and broken into bite-sized pieces
Wasa crackers or dark rye toast
In your salad bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until combined. Add salad ingredients; toss to combine and coat in dressing. Serve with Wasa crackers or toast.