This colourful salad is just perfect as a light summer lunch or supper. Packed with gorgeous flavours based on the traditional dish, Ceviche, from Latin America, where fish is marinated in lime juice and flavoured with chilli. Here, the salmon is cooked, flavoured with lime rind and combined with cucumber, avocado, pepper, red onion and fresh herbs, resulting in an amazingly refreshing dish. A glass of crisp white or rosé wine on the side, finishes this off beautifully!! If you’d like a non-alcoholic drink, try adding slices of lime and sprigs of mint to a jug of iced water, its deliciously fresh!!
This recipe was developed as the lunchtime dish for a day’s menu supporting the heart and circulatory system. Read on for details as to how each ingredient can benefit the body.
2 salmon fillets
grated rind and juice of 2 limes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 red pepper
½ red onion
1 ripe avocado
1 red chilli
1tbsp olive oil
4tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1tbsp chopped fresh mint
Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Skin and cut the salmon fillets in half across the width. Thinly cut into 5mm slices and lay out on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking parchment.
Sprinkle the grated lime rind over the salmon fillet slices, along with plenty of seasoning. Flash cook in the hot oven for about 5 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely.
Cut the cucumber in half lengthways. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the seeds and slice on
an angle. Wash, deseed and slice the pepper. Peel and thinly slice the red onion. Halve the avocado, remove the stone, scoop out the flesh and slice. Place all the vegetables in a large bowl.
De-seed and finely chop the chilli and mix together with the olive oil and lime juice. Season well and pour over the prepared vegetables with the chopped fresh herbs. Toss together well to coat in the dressing. Add the salmon to the mixture and turn gently to mix and coat in the dressing.
This salad is best served within about an hour of making.If you’d like to prepare this in advance, cook the salmon, when cool, cover and chill. Prepare all the salad ingredients, except the avocado, cover and chill. Mix together the dressing and keep covered separately. To finish, prepare the avocado and complete as above.
Salmon is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids. These brilliant fats help maintain healthy cholesterol level and due to their anti-inflammatory properties help protect the blood vessels from damage caused by inflammation. Damaged blood vessels can later lead to heart attacks. Omega 3 is also beneficial for reducing the rate at which blood clots, keeping it flowing efficiently around the body. So it is hugely beneficial to include plenty of oily fish in the diet.
Another food packed with good fatty acids. This time, oleic acid, also found in olive oil. It has been shown to cause a reduction in bad (LDL) cholesterol and may even increase good (HDL) cholesterol.
Flavonoids give the pepper its bright red colour. These powerful antioxidants maintain healthy blood vessels, making the inner lining of them more resilient to damage. When a blood vessel becomes damaged there is a build up of plaque, which can cause blockages in the cardiovascular system. Red peppers also enhance vasodilation by increasing the production and release of nitric oxide in the endothelial cells. Add to this their anti-inflammatory properties and red peppers become a must include food in the diet to keep a healthy heart and circulatory system.
Red onions are also high in flavonoids, phytochemicals that give them their wonderful deep red colour. These are powerful antioxidants, which help protect cells and tissues from free radical damage. They benefit heart health by causing endothelial cells in the lining of the blood vessels to produce and secrete nitric oxide. This is a vasodilator, which causes the walls of the blood vessels to relax and widen, the result is a lowering of blood pressure. Red onions also protect against inflammation and there is evidence to show that they can reduce clotting factors in the blood, offering protection against heart disease and strokes.
Capsaicin, a phytochemical present in the chilli, forces the blood vessel walls to relax by triggering a release of nitric oxide which enhances circulation and helps to reduce blood pressure.
The fatty acids in olive oil can increase the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) It is also thought that oleic acid, the fatty acid in olive oil can have a mild vasodilatory effect enhancing circulation around the body.