As part of our three and a half month motor home trip this summer, Roy and I took about four weeks to travel the western side of California from top to bottom. We loved it all -from the giant redwood trees to the southern beaches- but found San Francisco an especially fun experience. We actually stayed about an hour north, in Santa Rosa and used the Jeep we tow to explore the area. On the first full day, we went to Muir Woods and then decided to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. After the trill of arriving on the other side, we just kept on going. We ended up on the corner of Franklin and Oak where we saw a paid parking lot. We definitely weren’t in the touristy part; some of the buildings didn’t look too well kept, but there were plenty of people walking around and lots of cute looking restaurants. The parking lot attendant told us we had until 7 pm – that’s when he left – and he warned us that if he wasn’t around, when we returned to the car, the bikes we had attached to the back wouldn’t be around either. So we ducked into a place called RT Rotisserie, thinking it would be quick and easy enough to grab a bite to eat. It turned out the place was a spin off of another, fancier eatery called Rich Table – the kind of establishment where one must have a reservation. We lucked out because Roy had an absolutely delicious pork sandwich and I had one of the best salads of my life – and we made it back to the car on time! I began duplicating the salad again and again; it’s lemony, crunchy and filled with colorful greens and herbs. RT Rotisserie only serves pork and chicken but topping this salad with a piece of salmon baked with a smear of the salad dressing makes it a meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. If you would like a printable recipe, click on the recipe archive button at the bottom of the post.
Ingredients and Directions for Four Servings:
Suggestions for the greens:
5 oz. spring mix
5 oz. spinach leaves
1 cup washed,torn radicchio leaves
1/4 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint roughly chopped
1 cucumber, sliced
Place all ingredients in a large bowl.
Suggestions for the crunch:
1/4 cup raw pepitas
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
12 radishes, washed and sliced
Set aside the crunchy things until time to assemble the salad.
Quick “pickled” red onion:
1 red onion
1 cup vinegar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Mix the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar together. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Pour vinegar mixture over the onion slices and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Set aside until time to assemble the salad.
For the dressing:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or put through a press
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 teaspoon soy sauce (regular, low sodium, Tamari, or Maggi – your choice)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Place 1/2 cup of dressing in a separate container to brush on the salmon. Set the rest aside for the salad.
For the Salmon:
4 salmon fillets, each about 4 to 6 oz.
1/2 cup of lemon tahini dressing from above recipe
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
2 teaspoons dried dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix sesame seeds, dill, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl. Liberally brush the salmon fillets with the dressing to coat well. Discard any unused dressing that has come into contact with the brush. Sprinkle the seed mixture evenly over the salmon. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until fish flakes up with a fork and looks a solid, lighter pink – not a gelatinous red.
When the salmon is done, toss the greens with enough dressing to coat well. Divide the dressed salad onto four serving plates or one huge platter. Place drained pickled red onions, sliced radishes and seeds on top of the greens. Nestle the salmon fillets on top the salad and dig in.