Salmon Salad with Diced Pickles, Chopped Onion, and Dried Cranberries

Salmon Salad with Diced Pickles, Chopped Onion, and Dried Cranberries (Serves 2-4)

I’ve been making my own pickles lately. At first I ate pickles with boiled eggs and then with canned sardines. Finally, I thought to make salmon salad with my pickles. I’ve made salmon salad with my pickles 4 times in 2 weeks I liked it so much. I’m pickling the cucumbers I bring home from Cherith Farms on Saturday, but you could use store-bought pickles like Bubbies to make salmon salad. This basic recipe goes well over fresh lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, canned beets, and probably 2 dozen other veggies. Be creative.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 7.5-ounce can of red salmon
1 small sweet yellow onion
1 big handful of pickles
Dried cranberries (infused with apple juice)
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise (recipe for making it yourself below)
Red chili powder (optional)
Garlic powder (optional)
Salt (optional)

Directions:

Add salmon to a mixing bowl. Salmon packed in water should be drained first. Chop onion into bite-sized pieces and add a big handful to bowl. Save the rest in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. Chop pickles into small bite-size pieces and add to bowl. Add a handful of dried cranberries. Add 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and then mix well. The pickles may add enough spice that you don’t need more, but taste and add salt, garlic powder, or red chili powder as needed to achieve the taste you like.

Notes: The salmon salad shown here is hiding a bed of fresh lettuce and maybe some arugula. I tend to get both from Cherith Farms and mix them.

Homemade mayonnaise is surprisingly easy to make and bumps up the flavor of this dish. I learned to make mayonnaise from Melissa Joulwan. She promised me it would be easy and she was right! Don’t accept the soybean oil, sugar, and preservatives of store-bought mayonnaise anymore. Make some homemade yourself. I’ll walk you through it below or you can click here and let Melissa walk you through it.

Homemade Mayo
Ingredients:

1 egg
1/2 teaspoon yellow Jamaican curry (or mustard powder if you are not adventurous)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups olive oil (light, not extra virgin)

Directions:

Place the egg, curry, salt, apple cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil in a food processor and whirl until well mixed – 20 to 30 seconds. You can mix by hand in a bowl with a whisk like Julia Childs did in the old days, but that is a lot of work. Now here comes the important part: Drizzle in the last cup of olive oil slowly while you keep running the food processor – as in, take about 3 minutes to drizzle in one cup of oil. Don’t get in a hurry and dump a lot of oil in at once or the mixture can collapse and stop looking like mayonnaise. IF your mayo collapses, all is not lost. Put the mixture in the refrigerator for a few hours and then stir it vigorously. Such “failed” mayo doesn’t look as pretty, but it still tastes good and works fine in tuna salad. Once you are done, transfer your mayo to an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator until needed. Homemade mayo should be good for several weeks.

Melissa Joulwan warns of the importance of starting with all ingredients at room temperature. I have had success using a cold egg, but am mixing with apple cider vinegar and not lemon juice like Melissa. That difference might make a difference.

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