End of Summer Salmon Ceviche Salad

22 Aug

Today I think I will announce myself at the door and come right out to tell y’all…

Your overwhelming support of this bloggerly endeavor really warmed my heart.

When it comes to expressing gratitude, I realize I have options. I could reach out to each one of you individually and offer a virtual double fist pound or high five (reader’s choice.) I could send a traditional pen n’ paper thank you card. Or, if I’m really being honest, I would love to channel this master and turn my thanks into action by breaking it on down.

I think the message is not nearly as poignant when your thighs are exactly twice the circumference of that guy’s so maybe I will save the dancing for later spare you my moves and instead share an amazing recipe.

Anybody else out there have their fair share of begrudging comments regarding summer’s swift ending so far this August? I trust all of you know what I’ m referencing here because chances are if you work in an office/have made an awkward phone call to a stranger in the last 24 hours/know anyone who has shamelessly indulged in the human compulsion to discuss weather when a more interesting topic (read: all topics) is not readily available, then you know what I’m getting at.

“Gee whiz, where did summer go?” “Can you believe it’s almost SEPTEMBER?!!!” “Wow, is it really August 21?”

And so forth.

I will not act holier than thou. I have indulged. The fact that nights have cooled off dramatically still blows my mind and sometimes I just have to shout out, “IS IT REALLY ALMOST FALL?!”

On this, my emotions are mixed. After all, Fall is my very favorite of seasons (Are you really saying I can eat as many pumpkin-flavored delicacies as I can fit into my stomach cavity and be regarded as “fall festive” rather than “morbidly obese”?) At the same time, the slipping away of summer also means a temporary farewell to beach volleyball, barbecues, and of course feeling as though a brick wall of temperature has collided with my body every time I step outside.

Which I very much enjoy.

As I try to squeeze the last bits of sunburn and late sunsets as I can out of Chicago’s summer, I think my eats have reflected my salute to summer. For me, that means monster salads that burst with fresh vegetables, hues of citrus and cold crunch.

This was last night’s creation, and it hit the summery spot!

A homemade ceviche featuring fully cooked salmon serves as the centerpiece, and with grilled veggie kabobs playing a supporting role, this salad delivers.

Serves 2

1/2 lb wild salmon (I used wild Alaskan Sockeye)
2 veggie kabobs (purchased from Trader Joe’s. You could easily chop up zucchini rounds, onion slices and mushroom caps.)
mild, fresh chunky salsa – (the kind that resembles roughly chopped tomatoes & onion with minimal juice. I like the fresh-prepped stuff from TJ’s or Whole Foods)
1/8 C. red onion
2 TBSP fresh chopped cilantro
baby spinach

Dressing:
3 TBSP Olive Oil
1 TBSP white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
juice from 1/4 lime
pinch of salt
all natural taco seasoning (optional)

Grill up your salmon and shred with a fork when cooked through.  Slowly add salsa to the mix until you feel the salmon is well coated, but not swimming – I used about 1/4 C. Chop the red onion and cilantro and stir into the mix. Set aside.

Meanwhile, grill your veggie kabobs. If you’re a summery pro, use a charcoal grill. If you’re an urban pansy, use a griddler/foreman grill like me.

While kabobs are cooking, fill 2 large bowls generously with torn baby spinach.

Mix up the dressing and coat spinach lightly.

When kabobs are ready, remove from grill and pull kabob stick out, letting veggies fall into a small mixing bowl. If you like, coat lightly with taco seasoning for an extra kick.

Top spinach salad with kabob veggies, then spoon salmon ceviche on top.

Consume, and imagine yourself in the heart of Miami looking on the MTV Spring Breakers with both horror and admiration, meanwhile rubbing aloe on your neck and regretting that last Corona margarita.

If you have a vivid imagination.

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