Some years back, as my mother's health grew more compromised in her latter days, Hubby and I endeavored to keep her in her own home as long as possible. We knew her independent streak raised its head when we considered outside help, but at least we could share our meals with her so we could be sure she was well-fed.
One day when I seemed out of ideas about what to prepare for her, in desperation I looked in my pantry and found a can of salmon. Flurrying through my recipe files, I turned up instructions for Salmon Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs. I had no experience with salmon being prepared in any way except for salmon croquettes and salmon loaf. I had no idea whether my mother even liked salmon salad (we'd certainly never dined on it in my childhood), but it seemed our only food option for that evening's dinner.
When we presented her with her food tray and she spotted my creation, her face erupted in delight. "Oh, I was just thinking about how much I was hungry for salmon salad!" she exclaimed. Well, I'll be, I thought. Who knew? Seems this dish was a favorite of her young adulthood and early marriage. My desperation ploy to scrounge up a meal actually fit the bill perfectly. My mother was pleased as punch; Hubby and I enjoyed the dish, too.
Recently when we had some baked salmon left over from a meal, I remembered the delight on the face of my mom, who for the past five years has been dining at heaven's Banquet Table, and dug out the Salmon Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs recipe. Fresh tomatoes and onion from the garden, along with fresh herbs (chives and dill), formed the basis for this notation to be made in my recipe binder: "Absolutely terrific salad! Wonderful for company luncheon or summer supper."
We were past the time of "summer supper"s, but an early fall supper was upon us; this recipe was more than fine. Salmon Salad with Tomatoes and Herbs, the dish that I once considered a throw-together meal that I hoped would suffice, now ranked way up there with the food of kings--and once again, it was "absolutely terrific"!
Salmon Salad with Pimento and Herbs
1 (14-ounce) can red salmon, well-drained, bones and skin removed (or 14 ounces baked fresh salmon)
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced white onion
1/2 cup diced tomato
3 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh chives or 2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon fresh dill
3/4 teaspoon paprika
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon green onions, chopped
In medium bowl mix salmon with celery, onion, and tomatoes. In small bowl combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, chives, dill, paprika, if desired, and black pepper; combine with salmon mixture. Top with green onions and serve immediately over dark greens or over whole-wheat pita wedges, if desired. Makes 6 servings.