In case you haven’t already noticed; summer is here! And, of course, with sunny weather comes plenty more outdoor time with family and friends to enjoy delicious food and wine. If you’re looking for something light and easy to whip up for lunch or dinner this summer then here’s a sophisticated yet simple meal idea that echoes the season. Created by country chef Johan van Schalkwyk, this smoked salmon and roast potato salad with a creamy dill dressing, is quick and easy to make.
4 x 150g fillets of lightly smoked salmon – skinned and pin-boned (use salmon trout as a cheaper substitute)
Olive oil, for frying
Butter, for frying
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
400g baby potatoes – parboiled until soft, then quartered length-ways
Sunflower oil, for deep frying
120g fresh green asparagus, blanched (optional)
120g fine green beans, blanched
120g mange tout, blanched
50g spring onion
100g mixed lettuce leaves
120g Danish feta
For the dressing:
5g fresh or dried dill
2 Tbsp cream cheese
Juice of two lemons
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard
1 Tbsp smooth Dijon mustard
125ml olive oil
1 tsp castor sugar
To make the dressing:
· Place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender and whiz until blended.
· Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the mixture and blend again until it is well incorporated.
To make the potatoes:
· Heat sunflower oil in a large pot or deep fryer to 180°C.
· Deep fry the potatoes until they are golden brown and crispy, remove and drain on paper towel, season with salt.
To make the salmon:
1. Heat a drizzle of olive oil and a knob of butter in a thick-based pan over a medium heat.
2. Toss in the thyme and fry until it pops.
3. Season the salmon with salt and pepper, add to the pan and fry for 1 minute then flip over and fry the other side.
4. Remove from the pan and keep warm. (The salmon should still be dark pink on the inside)
To make the salad:
1. Place the salad leaves, spring onions, asparagus, green beans and mange tout in a large bowl and drizzle over the dressing and toss to coat the leaves.
2. To serve, divide the salad between four bowls, top each with a fillet of salmon and scatter the potatoes around the fish.
3. Drizzle any extra dressing over the salmon and crumble the feta over the top.
4. Serve while the salmon and potatoes are still warm.
The dish pairs beautifully with a glass of the 2015 Drostdy-Hof Chardonnay. The wine’s rich, smooth and creamy texture mirrors the creaminess of the dish, bringing it all together, while its tropical and citrus notes and subtle oak spice lift the flavour of the lightly smoked salmon. The 2015 Chardonnay is available in 750ml bottle or 3-litre box. Prices vary from R40 to R95 at liquor outlets. Visit www.drostdyhof.com/za for more on the brand.