I could invent some sort of rationale for having made this meal—minimalism, balance, a focus on good ingredients—but, honestly, I just came across the recipe and found it irresistible. I was sold on smoked salmon and al dente pasta. Pulling this salad together, flavor-wise, proved challenging, but ultimately rewarding, once we hit the right balance.
I began by shredding 4 oz smoked salmon, leaving a luxurious smudge of salmon oils on the cutting board. The next ingredients (¼ cup scallions, ½ cup celery) I chopped separately, since they’re ones that dsd doesn’t always like; but in the end, we tossed them all in, along with ½ cup green bell pepper and a little olive oil (and the pasta, 1 lb rigatoni, which had been cooked until al dente, then cooled under a stream of water). We also tossed in two hard-boiled eggs, because we had them, and it sounded fun. The first round of this salad used about 2 tbsp mayonnaise, a lot of dill, and not quite enough salt and pepper; the slightly more oil-based salad was fun, but it tasted a little flat. Adding a little more mayonnaise, salt, and pepper really pulled the salad together dramatically. This gave us enough for dinner and two lovely lunches; I ate mine straight out of the ‘fridge, and loved every bite.