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Salmon recipes for Mother’s Day

A classic salmon salad (with capers and dill) plus two creative options to try.

Salmon salad with tomato and basil.

Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff/File

Salmon salad with tomato and basil.

BAKED SALMON FOR SALAD

Makes enough for 1 recipe of salmon salad

1¼ pounds salmon fillet, pin bones removed if necessary

1 teaspoon olive oil

Salt and pepper

With the rack in the middle position, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a small baking dish with parchment, if desired, for easier cleanup. Place the salmon in the dish skin side down, rub the top with the oil, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, and bake until cooked throughout, firm, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the fish registers 145 to 150 degrees, about 25 minutes. Cool the salmon to lukewarm, cover loosely, and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours.

SALMON SALAD WITH TOMATO AND BASIL

Serves 4

The tomatoes and basil suggest the flavors in a classic caprese salad.

½ cup finely chopped red onion

½ cup creme fraiche

2 tablespoons Greek yogurt

2 large garlic cloves, minced or grated

1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Salt and pepper

1½ dry pints grape or cherry tomatoes (about 1 pound), halved

1 cup finely chopped fresh basil

1¼ pounds baked salmon, chilled

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In a small bowl, cover the onion with cool water, set aside to soak for about 15 minutes, then drain and blot dry. In a medium nonreactive bowl, add the onion, creme fraiche, yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Add the tomatoes and basil, and stir to mix. Break the salmon into large flakes, add it to the mixture, and gently fold to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or lemon juice if necessary, and serve at once.

TIP: Mirin is a Japanese rice wine commonly used to give sauces and glazes sweetness and viscosity. Various substitutions are possible, but I like sweetened sherry best. For each tablespoon of mirin, try either 1 tablespoon of medium-dry amontillado sherry mixed with ¼ teaspoon sugar or 1 tablespoon of dry fino sherry mixed with ¾ teaspoon sugar.

TERIYAKI SALMON SALAD

Serves 4

Salt and drain the zucchini while the salmon cooks and cools so they will be ready to use at the same time. The teriyaki sauce will seem too thick and sticky once it has cooled, but that’s OK, as it thins out after mixing in the other ingredients.

1 medium-large zucchini, trimmed and cut into 3/8-inch cubes (about 3 cups)

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons mirin

¾ teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons neutral oil

3 large garlic cloves, minced or grated

2 tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

12 large scallions, white and light green parts finely chopped and greens cut into ½-inch pieces

1¼ pounds baked salmon, chilled

2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

In a large colander set over a bowl, toss the zucchini with ½ teaspoon salt and set aside to drain for at least 1 hour (after a few minutes you’ll see liquid starting to appear). Rinse the zucchini, drain well, and blot dry on paper towels, pressing firmly to absorb as much liquid as possible.

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Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir the mirin and cornstarch until smooth and uniform. In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add the soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of water, and bring to a simmer, stirring and scraping the bottom of pan to loosen any stuck garlic or ginger. Add the cornstarch mixture and brown sugar, stir to combine, and cook, stirring, until thickened and glossy, about 9 minutes. Scrape the mixture into a medium nonreactive bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature. Add the rice vinegar to the bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the zucchini, white and light green scallion parts, and 1 teaspoon pepper, and stir to mix. Break the salmon into large flakes, then add it and the carrots and the scallion greens to the mixture, and gently fold to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional pepper or vinegar, if necessary, and serve at once.

CLASSIC SALMON SALAD WITH CAPERS AND DILL

Serves 4

½ cup finely chopped red onion

1½ tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/3 cup creme fraiche

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

½ cup finely chopped

fresh dill, plus extra fronds for garnish

¼ cup capers, drained and chopped

Salt and pepper

2 large ribs celery, finely chopped (about 2 cups)

1¼ pounds baked salmon, chilled

In a medium nonreactive bowl, mix the onion and vinegar and set aside to soak for about 15 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, yogurt, dill, capers, and 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and whisk to combine. Add the celery and stir to mix. Break the salmon into large flakes, add it to the mixture, and gently fold to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, or vinegar if necessary, and serve at once.

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