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Author Notes: A fresh summer salad of roasted vegetables with meaty smoked salmon and creamy dressing. Columbia Winery's Composition Red—made with a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah grapes—has soft tannins and balanced acidity perfect for a light salad or vegetable-centered meal made with a creamy dressing. Note: If you prefer to grill the vegetables and bread instead of roasting them, you can, though be sure to keep a close eye on them as they cook as the times may vary slightly from the recommended times listed above depending on what kind of grill you use. —Brooke Bass | Chocolate + Marrow
For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
- 4 tablespoons crème fraîche (or Greek yogurt)
- 2 tablespoons dill, chopped finely
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, crème fraîche, dill, salt, and pepper until incorporated. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Set aside.
For the salad:
- 6 slices of rustic bread
- extra-virgin olive oil, for coating bread and vegetables
- 1 pound zucchini (about 2 to 3 zucchinis), stemmed and sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 1 pint)
- 8 large green onions, sliced in half lengthwise
- sea salt, to taste
- 8 ounces hot smoked salmon, broken into bite-sized cubes
- dill, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 325° F (or bring a grill to medium-high heat) . Brush the bread with a thin coating of olive oil and cut it into bite-sized cubes. Spread the bread out on a baking sheet and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp on the edges. Remove crisped bread and set aside. (The bread should feel like croutons in crispness, though you can certainly adjust to accommodate your tastes if you prefer a softer, soggier bread salad.)
- Increase the heat of your oven (or grill) to 450° F.
- Brush the zucchini, tomatoes, and onions with a thin coating of olive oil. Spread the zucchini on a baking sheet and, on a separate baking sheet, the tomatoes and green onions on a wire rack. Sprinkle all the vegetables with sea salt. Place the green onions and tomatoes in the upper third of your preheated oven and the zucchini in the lower third of your oven. Occasionally nudge the tomatoes and onions as you cook them. Remove the green onions when they turn slightly golden and the bases are tender, about 7 minutes, and set aside on a cutting board. Remove the cherry tomatoes once you notice nearly all of their skins have broken open, about 12 to 14 minutes. Place the cherry tomatoes in a large bowl (the bowl you plan to serve the salad in) and set aside. Finally, remove the zucchini once it is cooked through, tender, and the edges have browned slightly, about 15 minutes. Add the zucchini to the cutting board with the onions.
- While you’re waiting for the vegetables to cool, rewarm the bread in the oven at 450° F for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Once cool enough to handle, slice the zucchini into roughly uniform 1/2-inch pieces and add to the bowl with the tomatoes. Slice the green onions into 1-inch long pieces and add to the bowl. Add the salmon and bread and use your hands to massage all of the ingredients with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the dressing. Add a little bit of the dressing at a time until it reaches your desired consistency.
- Garnish with fresh dill and serve immediately.