Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Cucumber and Smoked-Salmon Salad with Feta

Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Salad with Feta

Serve this tangy dish as starter or main

Cucumbers and smoked salmon, tossed with creamy feta cheese dressing. What’s not to like? Especially when you add green peas for color and radishes for perk.

Serve this dish of scrumptiousness as a starter. Or spoon up extra-large portions for a light main course.

This salad is quick to make, so it’s ideal for weeknight dinner. But it’s also fancy enough to serve at your next dinner party.

Like maybe your Mother’s Day celebration this weekend?



Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Salad with Feta

Recipe: Cucumber and Smoked-Salmon Salad with Feta

This recipe was inspired by a cucumber salad that some good friends served us a few weeks ago (thanks, Carol and Bob!). They, in turn, were inspired by a recipe in Andrea Bemis’s Dishing Up the Dirt.

The original recipe used a vinaigrette-style dressing, and didn’t contain salmon. We love creamy feta, so we replaced the original dressing with one of our favorites. The original also included avocado, which we omitted – you might want to add that back in.

Exact quantities aren’t critical for this recipe. So feel free to adapt.

This salad takes 10 to 15 minutes to put together.

This recipe yields 2 generous main-course servings, or 4 starter-size servings.

Ingredients
  • 1 English (seedless) cucumber or 2 large common cucumbers
  • 1 cup frozen peas (may substitute fresh)
  • 3 to 4 ounces sliced smoked salmon (or lox; see Notes)
  • ½ bunch of radishes (a good handful)
  • a handful of fresh mint
  • ~4 ounces of crumbled feta cheese (reserve a few large crumbles for garnish, if you wish)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil (or more to taste)
  • salt to taste (maybe half a teaspoon of kosher salt; see Notes)
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste (half a dozen grinds for us)
  • ½ to ¾ cup yogurt, preferably Greek (to taste)
  • mint sprigs for garnish (optional)
Procedure
  1. Wash and dry the cucumber(s). If using regular cukes, you may want to peel them and remove the seeds. Slice the cucumbers into thin ribbons, using a vegetable peeler or a mandolin. Place the cucumber ribbons in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Cook the peas in the microwave until just done (about 3 or 4 minutes). Rinse the peas under cold water to cool them, then add the peas to the cucumber ribbons.
  3. Cut the salmon into slices of a quarter inch or so. Add the salmon slices to the cukes and peas.
  4. Clean the radishes, then remove their stems and root ends. Slice the radishes thinly, then add them to the mixing bowl.
  5. Rinse off the mint, then dry it. Mince the mint finely, then add it to the mixing bowl.
  6. Add the feta to a separate, smaller bowl. Crumble the feta with a fork or a wire whisk. Add the lemon juice or vinegar, then whisk together. Add the olive oil a tablespoon at a time, and whisk until you have an emulsion. Add salt and pepper to taste. Then mix in enough yogurt to create a creamy sauce. Add less yogurt if you want a very thick sauce, more if you want a thinner one.
  7. Add half the dressing to the cucumber mixture (reserving the rest for another use; it’ll keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for several days). Toss all the ingredients until everything is well mixed. 
  8. Plate the salad. Garnish with mint sprigs and/or reserved crumbles of feta, if you wish, and serve.
Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Salad with Feta

Notes
  • We like to use seedless English cucumbers for this dish. Their skin is thinner than that of regular cucumbers (and it’s not waxed), so we never peel them. But regular cucumbers would work in this dish too.
  • Lox and smoked salmon are similar, but not quite the same. Lox is salmon that’s been cured in brine, and is often smoked. You can also buy salmon that has been smoked, but not brined. Either will work in this dish. We used smoked salmon (not brined).
  • Feta cheese is usually made from sheep’s milk, or sometimes from a mix of sheep’s and goat’s milk. The real stuff comes from Greece. You often see domestic “feta” made from cow’s milk, which we don’t think is as good as the real thing.
  • We think lemon juice works a bit better in this dish than the wine vinegar, but the vinegar is certainly OK.
  • If you don’t want to use (or don’t have) fresh mint, try fresh dill or oregano.
  • You may also want to add some chopped scallions to this dish. They probably would make a nice addition.
  • Some minced sweet red pepper might add a nice touch too.
  • We generally use kosher salt for cooking, which is coarser than regular table salt (and thus less salty by volume). So if using table salt, use about half of what we suggest.
  • But, as always, season according to your taste, not ours.
Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Salad with Feta

Crudités

“So you used smoked salmon,” said Mrs Kitchen Riffs. “But no lox step.”

“Don’t make a feta-ral case out of it,” I said.

“Feel cool as a cucumber after that comment?” said Mrs K R.

“Well,” I said. “We’re subjecting this salad to a lot of peas-poor puns.”

“Yup, the veggies are screaming in anguish,” said Mrs K R. “And rooting for us to stop.”

Better desist now. Don’t want a hoarse radish.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Asparagus and Spinach Salad
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Mint
Italian Celery and Mushroom Salad
Healthy Edamame and Bean Salad
Tuna Pasta Salad
Poached Salmon
Or check out the index for more recipes

102 comments:

  1. Very fresh, crunchy and delicious...definitely my kind of salad!

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    1. Hi Angie, freshness never tasted better! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. OK, I'm hooked -- but what I have on hand is smoked trout. It will be in a salad for lunch. Inspired, but not really following your recipe. Thanks!

    Best...
    mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, smoked trout would be wonderful! And we rarely make the same exact thing twice, even when we're using the "same" recipe. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. A healthy. complete, balanced meal. And it looks so good!!!

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    1. Hi Denise, looks good, tastes good. Winner! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Such a pretty and fance shmancy salad! Love the cucumber preped as ribbons. And big love for smoked slamon and feta. OK I never knew the difference between Lox and smoked salmon, thanks!

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    1. Hi Evelyne, those cucumber ribbons are so much fun! It's because of them that I wanted to make the salad. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  5. Great salad recipe....I love the flavor profile, thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Pat, isn't this a fun salad? So many different flavors! Thanks for the comment.

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  6. Great combination of flavors, colors, and textures. It looks and sounds tasty.

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    1. Hi Pam, this dish has it all, doesn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. A perfect salad. Healthy, yummy and delicious. Love it. Yum Yum :)

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    1. Hi Ritu, this really is yummy! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. What an awesome spring salad! The peas and radishes are at their peak right now -- crisp, tender, and spring-y is just what we need with all the rain! Great salad.

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    1. Hi Judy, we have outstanding radishes in the store at the moment. Although at the moment our frozen peas are better than the fresh -- go figure! Thanks for the comment.

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  9. Second the English cucumber! Always prefer those over the regular ones! This salad sounds so refreshing and who would ever say no to smoked salmon! Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Hi Yi, love smoked salmon! Thanks for the comment.

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  10. Replies
    1. Hi Madonna, :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. This is pretty much how I eat every night. You included so many of my favorite foods - peas, radishes, cucumbers.

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    1. Hi Laura, you eat good dinners! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. What a perfectly spring-centric Mother's Day salad! Love the use of cucumber ribbons and smoked salmon really puts this over the top and makes it extra-special. NOw can I have one of those special cocktails to go with it?

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    1. Hi Abbe, you absolutely can have a special cocktail to go with this special dish! Two, in fact. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  13. This is great, I love smoked salmon. Those cucumber ribbons look so cute. Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. Hi Amira, the cucumber ribbons are great, aren't they? Love the way they curl! Thanks for the comment.

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  14. This is a great and healthy idea, John! Loved the recipe and I cannot wait to give it a try!

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    1. Hi Agness, isn't this nice? And it's especially tasty! Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Love all the fresh spring flavors going on in this salad! I also love the way you made ribbons with the cucumbers - such a great way to serve them. Another delicious recipe for sure!

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    1. Hi Tricia, cucumber ribbons are so much fun, aren't they? Love the way they look! And taste, of course. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. You know how I feel about salmon. Or at least I Hope you know. It's just LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE so anything involving salmon is a HECK YES in my book!!

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    1. Hi GiGi, I think I have detected a certain fondness for salmon in you, yes. So this is definitely the dish for you. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  17. I love how you wove the ribbons through that salad and popping that green color in the peas makes all the difference for me. Also, I love that dressing!

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    1. Hi Maureen, that dressing is fantastic -- really worth trying. And it was the chance to play with the cucumber ribbons that made me want to make this. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. Such a delightful fresh spring salad! The addition of mint is perfectly delightful. How do you and Mrs. Riff think of all of your sayings at the end of your posts? You guys are so much fun. Wishing you a super week John!

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    1. Hi Bobbi, usually the dish we're making suggest some of those sayings. And we bounce them off each other -- kind of build on each other's idea. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. This looks delicious! Anything with feta is a-ok in my book :). Have a great rest of your week!

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    1. Hi Kelsie, feta is a great cheese, isn't it? Thanks for the comment.

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  20. What a perfect salad, cucumber and salmon; a match made in heaven. Hope you both are having a great week!

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    1. Hi Cheri, isn't this a neat salad? Such good flavor! Thanks for the comment.

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  21. This is the perfect salad for a house full of German guests. Thank you John.

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, enjoy! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. What a delicious salad! Light and clean, but so obviously packed with flavor.

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    1. Hi Jeff, TONS of flavor in this. TONS. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. I don't think I've ever seen a more perfect Spring Salad. Thanks for sharing this one John.

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    1. Hi Lea Ann, it's a good one, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Looks delicious, John! I really enjoy smoked salmon and should try to incorporate it into more dishes (other than on a bagel with cream cheese lol).

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    1. Hi Amy, smoked salmon and cream cheese is a great combo! Love salmon in any form, and the smoked goes so nicely in this salad. Thanks for the comment.

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  25. Beautiful and colorful salad John...I love the smoked salmon in it and the refreshing mint...and yes, I could have this salad as my main meal.
    I hope you are having a fabulous week :)

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    1. Hi Juliana, this is pretty, isn't it? And really tasty. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. Loving the feta dressing on this savory salad, easy and bright with flavor. Another great salad recipe!

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    1. Hi Deb, feta makes a wonderful dressing! Really worth having. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. I've never had smoked salmon in a salad before. This looks amazing.

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    1. Hi Peachy, a little smoked salmon goes a long way, so it works really well in a salad. Thanks for the comment.

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  28. This looks like the perfect Spring salad!

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    1. Hi Pamela, it's a really good one! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. Spring has sprung on your plate! How perfectly delectable does this salad look! All my favourite flavours. Beautifully done :)

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    1. Hi Robyn, this is definitely spring on a plate. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. You had me at smoked salmon because I will eat anything with smoked salmon. I'll even eat smoked salmon WITH smoked salmon. ;)

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    1. Hi Carolyn, really like the idea of smoked salmon with smoked salmon. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. Oh John, I do love this salad! Sometimes I'll make a simple cucumber salad and serve it as a side to smoked salmon. Adding the smoked salmon to the salad sounds even better. Love the feta dressing as well. The local market has had some beautiful sugar snaps lately that would be great peas for this salad. Hope to make this soon! Thanks!

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    1. Hi MJ, cucumber and salmon is such a natural combo, don't you think? Love the idea of sugar snaps in this -- fun! Thanks for the comment.

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  32. How refreshing this looks! Cucumber and smoked salmon are such a great combination. Feta is the perfect choice to go with this salad. Nice!

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    1. Hi Holly, this is a wonderful combo of flavors! Really satisfying. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  33. Cucumber and smoked salmon sound like a match made in heaven. I love feta cheese and this feta dressing on savory salad sounds like a lovely idea. I bet this easy and bright salad would make a nice treat for this slightly warm weather.

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    1. Hi Anu, this is a wonderful dish for this time of the year. Or any time, really. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  34. Once you've tasted sheep feta next to cow feta you'll never moo again! GREG

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    1. Hi Greg, I won't say baa to that. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. What a combination!! I absolutely love smoked salmon, but I have never thought to put it in a salad!

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    1. Hi Cathleen, you have to try this! SO good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. Just leave out the cucumber (it's not my 'thing') and this salad will hit the spot!

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    1. Hi Fran, we actually have left out the cucumber (and the radishes) and done a pasta-based version of this dish. Very yummy! And you may (or may not!) see it on the blog at some point in the (probably distant) future. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  37. Just going through the list of ingredients I can imagine how good this must have tasted.

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    1. Hi Taruna, fun list of ingredients, isn't it? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  38. Oooh, this is definitely MY kind of salad! I'd happily eat it every day for lunch this week. The cucumber ribbons make it extra fancy :)

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    1. Hi Liz, cucumber ribbons are fun (and tasty!), aren't they? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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    1. Hi Debra, isn't it? Really good! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  40. I love these light and fresh flavors a hot summer day! Sounds perfect for, say, every weekend lunch for next few months. :)

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    1. Hi Lisa, yup, we've been having this a lot lately! Thanks for the comment.

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  41. DELCIOUS! as my husband put it - restaurant quality!

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    1. Hi Melissa, yup, it's good. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  42. Absolutely gorgeous! I wish someone had made this for me yesterday!!!

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    1. Hi Mimi, guess you'll have to make it for yourself today! :D Thanks for the comment.

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  43. LOL...love your conversations with Mrs. KR! And I love EVERYTHING about this salad. Creamy, cool and crunchy! A perfect warm weather salad! :)

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    1. Hi Anne, this is a great salad. Conversation-worthy. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  44. You had me at creamy Feta cheese dressing, John!! :) I love everything about this salad! It truly looks super delicious. Adding a few things to the grocery list now... :)

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    1. Hi Marcelle, the dressing is wonderful! As is the salad. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  45. Don't know how I missed this - it looks delicious! My kind of salad. Don't think I've ever combined radishes and salmon, sounds great to me. And Feta only kicks it up a notch. Great recipe, John!

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    1. Hi Pam, radishes and salmon are wonderful together! Really good combo. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  46. Replies
    1. Hi Amalia, it is! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  47. What a pretty and perfect looking Spring salad, John. Cucumber and salmon are a lovely combo. Have a nice week ahead.

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    1. Hi Anu, we really like the combo of salmon and cucumber, and the feta is icing on the cake. So to speak. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  48. Another nice salad! I like the smoked salmon part

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    1. Hi Raymund, smoked salmon is SO GOOD in salads. Or all by itself. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  49. It salad sound wonderful. I love the smoked salmon!

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    1. Hi Dawn, it's a great dish! And the salmon really adds a lot. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  50. This looks really refreshing. Now that the warm weather is here, this would make for a great light weekday supper.

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    1. Hi Frank, it is refreshing -- not too filling, but just enough. Thanks for the comment.

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  51. peas-poor puns... oh stop! Hahaha. :)
    Love your salad, its gorgeous and simple too. Now I am working in a job that requires I bring my lunch, I need all the ideas possible. Thanks John. Cant wait to try this bad boy!

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    1. Hi Anna, they really are peas-poor, aren't they? :-) Anyway, this is really good stuff -- bet you'd like it! Thanks for the comment.

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