One of the secrets to fast easy and healthy cooking that always tastes great are bold and flavorful marinades, dry rubs and vinaigrettes. They are by far the best way to make something old new again.
As I mentioned in the past I tend to eat the same foods everyday. Basic dishes like egg whites and oatmeal, grilled chicken breast and basmati brown rice, salmon and quinoa, and shrimp and salads all dominate my daily meal choices. And as delicious as they are, you can probably guess that after a while things can sometimes become a little boring. When that happens I look to unique and interesting homemade marinades and vinaigrettes to liven things up.
You can completely change the flavor profile of a dish by just switching up the way it is seasoned. You can also experiment very easily with vinaigrettes and dry rubs, playing with exotic ingredients that you normally would be too nervous to use.
One of my favorite vinaigrette recipes that I use to liven up a dish is my Meyer Lemon and Horseradish Vinaigrette. This dressing has such an intensely bold and bright flavor to it, which makes this vinaigrette a perfect accompaniment to a simply sautéed salmon filet or as a topping to a mixed green salad – for this blog post I actually combine both examples!!!
The radiant flavor in this incredible vinaigrette comes from the two star ingredients in the recipe…meyer lemons and prepared horseradish. I absolutely love meyer lemons and they produce one of my favorite flavors – not to mention the scent is incredible! This little fruit is so tender and juicy, with an explosion of bright sweet citrusy flavor that is a cross between a lemon and a sweet orange. It is just delightful!
Because I love to combine opposing flavor profiles – making for a much more interesting and rounded overall dish – I add horseradish, which carries a unique and intense, almost wasabi-like bitter heat. I love the way that peppery bite pairs with the citrusy sweetness of the meyer lemons.
One of the many great aspects about this recipe…the ingredients that are needed for recreation are very basic. You will need great extra virgin olive oil, meyer lemons, champagne vinegar, dijon mustard, prepared horseradish (my favorite brand to use is Gold’s Prepared Horseradish since horseradish can differ amongst brands), kosher salt, fresh cracked pepper, several salmon filets, mixed green lettuce, fresh San Marzano grape tomatoes, fresh dill and meyer lemon slices for garnish.
To make the vinaigrette combine the extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, dijon mustard, prepared horseradish, kosher salt and black pepper into a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until the dressing emulsifies.
Heat a non-stick fry pan on medium-high heat with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Remove the salmon filets from any packaging and sprinkle each filet with Famous Dave’s Rib Rub (or you can use kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper) on both sides.
Now let’s just take a minute to talk about this store bought dry rub because it is absolutely amazing! Famous Dave’s Rib Rub is delicious on everything; however, my favorite way to use it is to sprinkle it on salmon right before sautéing it – perfect for this recipe. The rub has a sweet and spicy flavor with a touch of salt. It also has incredible depth and is extremely easy to use, just sprinkle the rub on both sides of the salmon and voila, you’re ready to cook! Ok back to the recipe.
Sauté the salmon filets for 3-4 minutes per side until just opaque. When ready the flesh will be tender and will just begin to flake when pressed. (Alternatively, for an even lower maintenance approach place seasoned salmon filets on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for 8-12 minutes.)
Toss mixed greens, tomatoes, and fresh dill with vinaigrette and place in individual plates. Complete the dish by topping each plate with sautéed salmon and garnish with meyer lemon wedges. So elegant simple and of course delicious!
- ¼ cup good extra-virgin olive oil
- zest of 2 meyer lemons
- ¼ cup meyer lemon, about 2 lemons
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar (Brand: Napa Valley Natural)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (Brand: Grey Poupon)
- 1 tablespoon horseradish (Brand: Gold's Prepared Horseradish)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- pre-cleaned mixed green salad, or lettuce of preference
- meyer lemon slices
- fresh dill
- San Marzano cherry or grape tomatoes
- fresh (or frozen) salmon filets
- Famous Dave's Rib Rub Dry Seasoning
- kosher salt and pepper
- To Make Dressing: Combine extra-virgin olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, champagne vinegar, dijon mustard, prepared horseradish, kosher salt and black pepper into a mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until dressing emulsifies.
- Heat a non-stick fry pan on medium-high heat with a teaspoon of coconut oil.
- Remove salmon filets from packaging and sprinkle each filet with Famous Dave's Rib Rub (or you can use kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper) on both sides.
- Sauté salmon for 3-4 minutes per side until just opaque. The flesh will be tender and just begin to flake when pressed. (Alternatively, place seasoned salmon filets on a small baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven at 400 degrees F for 8-12 minutes.)
- Toss mixed greens, tomatoes, and fresh dill with vinaigrette and place in individual plates.
- Top with sautéed salmon and garnish with lemon wedges.