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Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad

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I have a large catering event next week focusing on a Pacific Northwest cuisine. In this last minute, I am still searching for a great Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad recipe. One that will show off our the fabulous smoked salmon that Seattle has to offer. I'm thinking something with a creamy base dressing would be good...any ideas? Thanks!

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When it comes to salads, I am so sick of all the EV olive oil and balsamic cliches; I'm glad you're looking for something creamy. I always like to keep things simple: when I think smoked salmon, I can't help thinking dill, parsley, mustard, capers. How about a mayo with dill and a nice hit of Dijon-style mustard, some grated lemon zest, Champagne vinegar, dry vermouth, ground white peppercorn, and an undetectable hint of Worcestershire? And maybe an equally undetectable hint of Old Bay?

For aromatic veggies, I would consider shallot, celery, cornichon, and pimento brunoise. For your 'substantial' veggies, I'd consider blanched asparagus, and maybe some jicama julienne for a plain, sweet crunch. I would not be afraid to serve it with some sliced or chopped HB egg and salmon roe visible on top. I might even serve it in iceberg lettuce cups or romaine hearts. I would be very tempted to 'extend' it with some cold, very carefully poached, fresh salmon, and to scatter a few capers about.

I know this all sounds painfully mainstream and conventional, and maybe you're looking for something more trendy, but consider: how did these combinations become conventional in the first place? ;-)

Thomas, aka the Wired Gourmet

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Adding to the good ideas, along the lines of a local end-of-the-Northwest summer produce pasta salad showcase - how about smoked salmon with bowtie pasta, minced Walla Walla sweet onion, fresh local blueberries, shaved steamed local corn off the cob, chopped fresh dill, fennel matchsticks for crunch and tossed with either wiredgourmet's dressing or a slight variation - lemon juice/mayo/dill/champagne vinegar/tarragon mustard and serve the pasta salad on a mound of fresh, clean dry arugula? You could garnish with any of the previous suggestions or a few handfuls of blueberries, and twisted lemon slices, or even some end of the summer edible flowers - I know they are tad passe' but I still love seeing colorful nasturtiums, calendula or violas scattered across a salad - and eating them!

Edited by pupcart (log)
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