Salad for a Fishing Trip

We are going fishing today!

The weather is warm, the boat is waxed (not ours) for the start of the new season, and the early morning summer sun woke me up at 5:30 AM.  We are going fishing today, leaving from Lauttasaari and heading out into the sea.  The plan is to fish a while, grill up something out there, and enjoy good company, warm sunshine, and hopefully catch some fish to take home.

By now it won't surprise you that whenever I plan for a trip to anywhere, one of my first questions is:  "What will we eat?"  If we are heading to a city, this isn't a problem - we most likely follow our whims, stomachs, and noses to find places where we can enjoy good food.

When we are going somewhere where there is unlikely to be a chef readying a plate to order, then the fun begins, because I can be as creative as time, energy, and ingredients allow.  A day out on the boat has its unique challenges, particularly when the main goal is to fish.  I get grumpy when I'm hungry, but I don't want packaged foods simply because they are convenient - unless I've packaged them myself at home and brought them with me.  Space on the boat is limited - particularly space to prep food.  And frankly, I don't like preparing food on a boat:  the boat dips and sloshes - the carrot rolls off the table, the bowl filled with liquid tips precariously, ready to send its contents to the floor, and I typically forget some ingredient at home that I might have liked to have with me.  I'd rather prepare the food on dry land...or prepare it in advance so the mess stays home and the food is lunch time ready.  And I want something full of flavor - maybe a little zip and a little salt to tide me over through the day.

This Asian-inspired salad is perfect because everything is mixed up at home the morning of the trip (or the night before at the earliest), packaged into a plastic container or a ziplock bag, dropped into a cooler with an ice pack, and we are ready to go.

Got Zucchini?  This is a great salad to keep in mind as summer moves on and that zucchini (kesäkurpitsa) plant in your garden begins to produce more zucchini than you know what to do with - as they always do!  Green or yellow zucchini work equally well here.  You could use radish instead of the red pepper if your spring garden is producing that - it will give the salad extra zing.  Also try using spring onions to replace the yellow onion if you have some fresh ones (omit the chives then).  They would be beautiful and really tasty.

The prep time is brief (cook the millet while you prepare the rest of the salad) and the ingredients are all available from your local grocery store.

Make sure to toast the sesame seeds before dumping them in the salad - it makes all the difference in the world here.

Asian-inspired Toasted Sesame, Vegetable & Millet Salad w/ Cilantro & Lime

Place a small saucepan over high heat and add:
1 1/2 tablespoons / ruokalusikkaa sesame seeds

cover the saucepan with a lid and gently shake the pan.  You will hear the sesame seeds jumping and popping as they toast - this whole process will take no more than a minute, so check the seeds to see if they are a golden brown.  Remove the pot from the heat and immediately pour the toasted seeds into a separate bowl.  Set aside.

Rinse the pot with clean water.  Add
1/2 cup / 1 dl millet (hirsi)
1 1/2 cup / 3 dl water

Place over high heat; bring to a boil; reduce to low; cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and allow the millet to simmer for 25 minutes until the water is absorbed and the millet nice and fluffy.  Spread the millet on a large plate and allow to cool about 10 minutes before combining with the vegetables.

While the millet cooks, prep the vegetables.  In a large bowl combine:
2 medium sized carrots / porkkanaa, peeled and grated
1 medium zucchini/courgette/kesäkurpitsa, rinsed and diced
1 organic red pepper / luomu punainen paprika, diced
1/2 medium-sized onion / sipuli, diced small
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives / ruohosipulia

Prepare the dressing:
Juice of one organic lime
1 teaspoon organic lime zest
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro

To complete the salad, add the cooled, cooked millet to the bowl with the vegetables and mix to combine well.  Pour the salad dressing over the mixture and stir well to combine.  Add the sesame seeds, reserving 1/2 teaspoon for garnish.  Mix well.

Garnish the salad with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and a few fresh cilantro leaves.

Serves 4 as a main course or 8 as a side dish.

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