Last week I demonstrated 5 recipes for a gathering of 12 women to celebrate one of their birthdays. Everyone was is high spirits and there were plenty of spirits too, so no one was actually there to learn how to cook anything.
They just wanted to have a great time and I was the entertainment. Which was just fine. I’ve learned long ago that for this kind of event I do all the prep work beforehand because the audience will lose interest watching me chop onions and measure out flour.
But here’s what they were interested in: the two hors d’ouevre and 3 salads I demonstrated. All springtime foods, light and festive looking, fairly easy to prepare and exceptionally tasty.
They loved everything. But this was the favorite:
Salmon-Couscous Salad with Cheese and Dried Cranberries
1 pound fresh salmon, about 1-1/4-inches thick
olive oil or vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups Israeli couscous
1 cup thawed frozen peas
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat a grill, broiler or grill pan. Brush the salmon with a film of vegetable oil and grill, broil or pan-broil for about 4 minutes per side or until cooked but still rare. Remove the fish from to a cutting board and cut into chunks and set aside to cool slightly. Cook the couscous until al dente, drain and place in a large bowl. Add the fish, peas, cheese, scallions, cranberries, orange peel, dill and mint. Toss gently to distribute the ingredients evenly. In a small bowl mix the vegetable oil, lemon juice and orange juice. Pour over the ingredients and toss. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.
Makes 4-6 servings