I was so excited to receive Dinner: A Love Story as a birthday gift this year. Jenny Rosenstrach is a former editor of Real Simple who has recorded every dinner she and her family have eaten for the past 14 years. Not surprisingly, she firmly believes in the importance of families eating dinner together.
“It has done more to foster togetherness and impart meaning and joy into my family life on a daily basis than just about anything else I can think of.”
I wholeheartedly agree, and appreciate that she recognizes that this is important even before you have kids. I love her pragmatic acknowledgment that not every evening calls for an elaborate dinner with multiple hours of prep work, especially for households like ours with two working adults who are typically tired after working and commuting. Plus I find it entertaining that we appear to have similar palates:
“I know it’s a major culinary weakness, but I really don’t like olives, so you won’t find them anywhere in these pages.”
While I haven’t yet read every recipe in the book, I am surprised that I haven’t come across more slow-cooker recipes. I have recently rediscovered my slow cooker and am still somewhat in awe when I return home after a long day to the aroma of whatever hot meal is ready and waiting for us to eat. (Recent hits include Martha Stewart’s Pulled Pork Sandwiches and Food Network’s Korean-style Short Rib Soup.)
Nonetheless, Rosenstrach’s recipes are simple dishes that aim to please parents and kids alike while minimizing weeknight prep. This Salmon Salad recipe caught my eye as the first recipe I wanted to try, as she says in the book that her family has eaten this dish at least once a month for the last fifteen years. Now that I’ve made it, I can see why. It’s healthy and easy, yet flavorful and filling, and the leftovers are just as good the next day.
I served the salad with oven-baked zucchini chips, which didn’t come out quite as well as I’d hoped, so I will have to give them another try before writing about them here.
Adapted from Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
For the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, sugar, lemon juice and oil and set aside.
For the salmon: Sprinkle the salmon with salt and pepper. Roast in a foil-lined baking dish for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until a knife slices through them with no resistance, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes to a large serving bowl. Add beans to the same pot of water and cook for 3 minutes, then add the corn and cook for an additional minute. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumber and scallions to the bowl. Toss with the vinaigrette and serve.