GREEK SALAD WITH CHAR-GRILLED SALMON

GREEK SALAD WITH CHAR-GRILLED SALMON
Excerpted from Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone. Copyright © 2009 by Curtis Stone. Used with permission of Clarkson Potter/Publishers, a division of Random House.

Serves 4

A good Greek salad can hardly be improved upon – it is full of strong flavors yet it somehow still comes off as very fresh and light. I was trying to work out how I could serve one as an entrée, and this is spot on.

Salmon:
Eight 2-ounce skinless salmon fillets
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons garlic-infused extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing grill
Salad:
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 head romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
3 or 4 small heirloom tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced crosswise
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
4 ounces feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. To make the salmon: Prepare a barbecue grill for medium-high heat. Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper. Rub the garlic oil and the oregano over the salmon. Brush the hot grill with olive oil. Place the salmon on the oiled grill and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until it is just cooked through and pale pink in the center.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the salad: Place the red wine vinegar in a large bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly to blend. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper to taste. In a large salad bowl, toss the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and onions with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Divide the salad among 4 plates. Crumble the feta cheese over the salads. Top each salad with 2 grilled salmon fillets, and sprinkle with the parsley. Drizzle some of the remaining vinaigrette over the salmon, and serve immediately.

LYNNE'S TIPS
When we tested this recipe we used skin-on salmon fillets. The skin protects the fillet from sticking to the grate and the oils keep it moist. Before serving, run a thin spatula between the salmon flesh and the skin, discarding the skin.

You could do this recipe with one larger salmon fillet per serving instead of two smaller ones.

Try substituting iceberg lettuce for some of the romaine. Iceberg is maligned by food snobs, but I like it for its crunch and clean, fresh flavor.