As summer approaches, it is good to have some tasty, light meals like this delicious salad with a Japanese style dressing. This is quick and easy to prepare and the crunchy texture of the cucumber and sweet pepper complements the moist salmon and rice. Oily fish is the best source of omega 3, which is good for boosting brain power if your children, like my three, are sitting exams over the next few weeks.
This salad would be perfect for picnics or lunchboxes. Other picnic ideas include a sort of cheat’s version of Chinese duck pancakes. Mix mayonnaise with a little soy sauce and plum sauce and stir it into leftover shredded roast chicken and then spoon onto tortillas. Top with cucumber matchsticks, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds, roll up and wrap in foil.
Also, you could pack up some fresh summer berries and make some home-made treats, like my marbled brownie squares or apple and almond cake (watch this space!), then just hope that the sun will shine …
Makes 4 portions
● 300g (10 oz) salmon fillet
● A knob of butter (or some fish stock if poaching)
● 200g (7 oz) long grain rice
● 200g frozen garden peas
● 1 red pepper, finely diced
● Half cucumber, peeled and seeds removed and diced
● 1 small bunch spring onions, finely sliced
● 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
● 2 tbsp dill, chopped
● 2 tbsp chives, chopped
● 2 tbsp olive oil
● 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
● 1 tsp runny honey
● Pre heat the oven to 180˚C / 350˚F Fan 160˚C
● Put the salmon fillet onto a piece of foil on a baking sheet with a knob of butter.
● Seal the foil to look like a parcel, then cook in the oven for 15 minutes until cooked through.
● Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Alternatively, cut the salmon into chunks and poach in a saucepan of fish stock over a medium to low heat for about 7 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.
● Cook the rice in boiling salted water according to the packet directions but add the peas 4 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
● Drain and refresh in cold water.
● Measure the remaining ingredients into a large bowl.
● Add the cooked rice and peas, then flake in the cold salmon and any juices from the foil.
● Season well, then cover and chill for half an hour before serving.