It's hard to compose a more elegant, colorful and texturally interesting salad in such a short amount of time. You'll probably have leftover smoked trout, which can be coarsely chopped along with fresh horseradish and a few swipes of lemon zest from a Microplane grater, then stirred into sour cream or creme fraiche. Serve over a baked potato or as a dip with cocktails.
Serve the salad with warm flatbread.
- For the herb cream
- 1/3 cup packed mixed fresh herbs, such as tarragon, basil and thyme
- 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup regular or low-fat sour cream
- Sea salt or kosher salt
- For the salad
- 1/2 lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 or 3 pickling or Persian cucumbers
- 4 medium radishes
- 4 small pickled beets (may substitute 8 ounces sliced and drained pickled beets)
- 4 ounces baby arugula
- 4 ounces boneless smoked trout
- 2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted almonds
For the herb cream: Finely chop the herbs and the almonds, combining them in a medium bowl as you work. Stir in the sour cream until well combined. Season with salt to taste.
For the salad: Squeeze 1 1/2 tablespoons of juice from the lemon into a small bowl. Whisk in the oil, salt and pepper to taste to form a dressing.
Use a vegetable peeler to create a vertical striped effect on the cucumbers, discarding the strips of peel. Let the following ingredients fall into a mixing bowl as you work: Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/2-inch half-moon slices. Cut the radishes into very thin rounds. Cut the beets into matchstick pieces.
Add the arugula and the dressing; toss to combine and coat the vegetables. Season with a generous pinch of pepper.
Divide among individual plates. Summon your inner art director and arrange the salad ingredients nicely on each plate, if desired. Discard the skin of the trout, then break up the fish into pieces and scatter equal amounts on each portion of salad. Place dollops of the herb cream on each plate.
Crush the almonds as desired. Scatter them over each salad. Serve right away.
Adapted from "Salads: Beyond the Bowl," by Mindy Fox (Kyle, 2012).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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