Last week, my friend Chris and I were talking about a cajun salmon salad on a local restaurant’s menu, and it had sounded really good. That idea stuck with me until tonight, when I decided to make my own interpretation of that salad.
The ingredients that I have listed are to have it turn out like how I made it, but the great thing with salads are that they are versatile enough to swap out ingredients for each other.
Cajun Salmon Salad
~ Salad greens
~ Coarsely crushed macadamia nuts
~ Shredded cheddar cheese
~ Grated Parmesan cheese
~ Trader Joe’s Goddess salad dressing (this link will show you its ingredients)
~ Small filet of salmon
~ Cajun seasoning
This is a really tasty salad that doesn’t require all too many ingredients to put together and can be whipped up fairly fast for a quick meal. For the cajun seasoning, you could buy some pre-made from the store or put a blend together. I used the spice blend from the side of the bottle: 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1 tsp basil, and 1 tsp oregano.
Prepare your salad base next, because the salmon is done cooking pretty fast. Arrange out your greens (I used chopped Romaine lettuce), sprinkle on your shredded cheddar cheese, raisins, and crushed macadamia nuts (I believe that crushed cashews would work well, too). Now that the salad mix is all set, put that aside to cook up the salmon.
Season your salmon filet with salt and the cajun spice mix. Vary the amount of your cajun seasoning based on the heat level that you want the salmon to be. Heat up a frying pan on medium-high heat with some oil and then throw the salmon right on there. I prefer my salmon to lean on the pan-seared side, so I cook mine for about 2 minutes per side. If you want it a little more well-done, I’d recommend no more than 3 – 4 minutes per side. You want to get it so that the salmon will flake apart with just a small amount of pressure from your fork.
Put the cooked salmon filet right over the bed of greens, sprinkle some of the Parmesan cheese and parsley on top, and then finish it off with the dressing. What you get is a great balance of flavors from salty to tangy to sweet, with a slight hint of spicy in the mix. The contrast in temperature provided from the hot salmon and the cold salad greens also mesh together very well. If you’re not as much a fan of salmon, I’d imagine that a nice and juicy cajun chicken breast would make an excellent substitution.