Today B. and I went to the Imperial War Museum North. The exhibitions themselves, as befits a museum devoted to war, were quite overwhelming and humbling (what would I do if a war involving civilians was announced now? Would I be brave enough?), but after we got out of the building (equally overwhelming), the lovely spring weather, the people strolling up and down the quayside and the accidental realisation that Coronation Street is a fictional Salford street, and not a Liverpudlian one (like I had thought all along), cheered us up. I’m not sure why I was convinced it was set in Liverpool. If that offends anyone, let me just clarify that I’ve never watched the programme (and don’t plan to do so). Anyway, we ended up having a pizza from a food stall (there was some sort of food festival on in Mediacity this weekend). The day out was a welcome distraction from the thing that’s been absorbing our minds (B.’s and mine) for the past few weeks. Drumroll please… We’re buying a house! The whole thing is far from a done deal (we are at the early stage of our offer having been accepted, and having submitted the mortgage and conveyancing applications) and didn’t want to mention it here just in case the sale falls through. But I have had very little else on my mind for a while now and wouldn’t know what else to tell you. For a moment I even forgot that last week I celebrated my birthday! I baked myself a cake, received some lovely presents, had a Lebanese takeaway, went to vote in the European and local elections and still, throughout all of this, managed to mostly think about the house we’re in the process of buying.

FCG_purple_sprouting_loose FCG_radish_bunch_above FCG_spring_salmon_salad_thumbnails

I made this lovely, fresh and zingy salad when you could still find purple sprouting broccoli in the shops. Let’s bookmark it for next year, shall we? It came about because the first warm and sunny days of spring convinced me to ditch the ‘grain’ element normally present in salads (be it rice, couscous, bulgur wheat, spelt…) and have some juicy salmon flakes mixed with the best vegetables the British early spring had to offer. I asked B. to make his usual vinaigrette, which I love because it has lemon juice and Dijon mustard. I’m not sure whether some of you will disapprove of microwaving salmon. You can roast or pan fry the fillets if you prefer, for me the speed, juiciness and no need for additional fats made microwave the best cooking method for this recipe. And with this, I’m back to stressing about the house purchase…


Spring salmon salad

Makes enough for two, big, mains. Serve with a slice or two of crusty bread.

Ingredients for the vinaigrette
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp runny honey
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Ingredients for the salad
2 salmon fillets
purple sprouting broccoli
a bunch of radishes
mixed leaves (you can also use the radish leaves)

For the vinaigrette, place all the ingredients in a jar, put the lid on a shake until evenly mixed. You could mix the ingredients in a bowl, with a whisk. Set aside until you are ready to serve the salad. For the salad, start by placing the salmon fillets in a microwave-safe covered container and microwave until fully cooked. This only takes a few minutes, depending on the power settings and the size of the fillets. Set aside to cool down. Bring a pot of water to the boil, chop the purple sprouting broccoli in smaller pieces and cook them in the water for a few minutes, about 4 or 5, until you teeth easily break a piece in half. Drain and set aside. Chop the radishes. In a bowl, layer the (washed) mixed leaves, then broccoli and radishes. Add the salmon, gently flaked with your hands. Serve immediately, just after you’ve added the vinaigrette and mixed it in.