Cold Poached Salmon & Parsley Potato SaladIt’s easy to please my family with salmon. The recipe for “Cold Poached Salmon,” from The Family Circle’s All-Time Favorite Recipes, invited me to simmer the fish, then refrigerate it for hours before I served it. That’s easy. I halved this recipe, using only 1 lb. of salmon steaks. My chosen wine was a 2007 Argentinian sauvignon blanc. Even though the recipe asked to drain the cooked fish, I decided to refrigerate it in its cooking liquid (why not?).

The recipe for the accompanying “Green Sauce” was an interesting mix of parsley and cottage cheese. I used a few dashes of Tabasco. This sauce was tasty as a leftover dip too. So how was the fish? Well, it was not extraordinary. Nothing was wrong with it; it was adequate salmon. And my young child gobbled it up.

And here’s another potato salad recipe: “Parsley Potato Salad,” from The New American Heart Association Cookbook. I was attracted to the use of red potatoes, red bell pepper, dry mustard, and celery seeds. This recipe, like the fish, required a few hours of refrigeration. It was a nice crunchy salad, with a slight “heat” from the dry mustard.

RECIPES: if you like salmon, this is a fine way to prepare it easily; potato salad with the crunch of celery, onion, and pepper
PREP TIMES: prep is quick; both dishes need to sit in the fridge for a few hours
TASTES: simply pleasing salmon with a creamy green sauce and a potato salad to make us happy

Next time, I want to make an enchanting recipe for “Barley Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower, Toasted Almonds, and Parmesan,” by Peter Berley (recipe below). He demonstrated this recipe at a public cooking class called “Vegetarian Risotto Using 6 Different Grains,” that I recently attended at the Natural Gourmet Institute for Food and Health in New York. I’m ready to try this recipe myself, in my own kitchen. Return to my site on Saturday, May 23, to witness my results.

Barley Risotto with Roasted Cauliflower, Toasted Almonds, and Parmesan
Peter Berley
Serves 4

2 cups water
1 cup pearl barley
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup finely diced onion
1 medium head cauliflower, separated into florettes
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
¼ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

Combine the water and barley in a bowl and soak for 2 hours at room temperature or over night in the refrigerator. Drain.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Place the cauliflower in a roasting pan and toss with 2 Tbsp. oil, season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until caramelized. Transfer the cauliflower to a plate to cool slightly, then roughly chop.

Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a heavy 3-4 quart saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and sauté 5-7 minutes until soft. Add the cauliflower and ½ tsp. salt, stir to combine.

Stir in the barley and add the stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Season with black pepper and additional salt to taste.

Serve risotto sprinkled with chopped parsley and toasted almonds.