Who knew that a piece of wild Alaskan salmon and a yogurt raita from southern India, accompanied by a piece of naan, could land on the same plate and have a decent conversation.
Traditionally Indian and Greek condiments, raita and tzatziki use similar ingredients and are served with lamb or grilled veggies. We enjoyed the flair of something different and thought the carrot raita went well with salmon.
About the fish: We’re being careful with our salmon consumption these days, both for the causes of sustainability and for our pocketbooks. We often buy from Loki Fish where we know they’re committed to the survival of salmon; we eat it less often and in smaller amounts. A three-quarter pound piece made four hefty sandwiches. (Check out Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch for information on sustainable seafood choices.)
A local meal for summer: Salmon from Loki Fish, carrots for the raita from Willie Greens, Nancy’s plain yogurt, and pea shoots from the backyard or Whistling Train Farm. Add the shoots to a salad, or sauté slightly with a little oil and garlic, sort of like spinach says Shelley of WTF.
Carrot Raita Recipe
Ingredients & Directions: Depending on how much you’d like to make, strain 1 – 2 cups of plain yogurt and 2 – 3 cups grated carrot separately. A coffee filter works well with the yogurt, an ordinary sieve is fine for the carrots. Twenty to thirty minutes should do it. Strained yogurt thickens and the possibility of liquid appearing in the salad later on is diminished; the same is true with the carrots. After straining, stir together with 1 – 2 t toasted cumin seeds, ½ – 1/3 C chopped fresh cilantro, ½ – 1 t curry, 1 or more tablespoons fresh dill, 1 or 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped, and a big spoonful of sour cream if you like. This is my version based on a traditional recipe – make it your own. Curry was a good touch, maybe not with the dill next time. Refrigerate. Here’s a link to an actual raita recipe if you’re interested.
Grill salmon with salt and pepper. I finished it on a bed of fennel which imbues just the slightest herbed smoky flavor. (More about grilling with fennel in another post.) Serve salmon in a piece of grilled naan with the carrot raita, or with tzatziki when cukes are in season. From the sea and the garden, from plot to plate just the way we like it. Good summertime grub.