Tongg’s Salmon Salad Takes The Stage

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - May 04, 2011
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Pamela Taylor Tongg. Photo from Diana Helfand

This year, Pamela Taylor Tongg celebrates her 25th year as artistic director of Ballet hawaii. Undeniably, this has been an amazing quarter century for Tongg, her students and our community.

Over the course of her 25 years of dedicated service, Tongg has positively influenced the lives of thousands of dance students as a teacher, mentor and friend. She has been instrumental in taking Ballet hawaii from its early days in the Salvation army gym and transforming it into a major dance school and presenter of dance programs.

Each year, Tongg is the leading force behind Ballet hawaii’s production of Nutcracker. it’s a professional-level production that typically includes more than 160 dancers from ballet schools across hawaii, plus professional dancers from Mainland companies. Performing in Nutcracker is a goal for many keiki and teens, and they strive toward achieving this goal throughout the year. Tongg also has gone on to establish major summer productions.

While Tongg and the dancers at Ballet hawaii have their summer production strictly under wraps, one move simply can’t be hidden: Ballet hawaii is about to move into new headquarters and performance space in the old Scan design building. not only is the space larger, it doesn’t have any of those pesky columns that dancers definitely need to avoid.

Bravo to everyone at Ballet hawaii, and thanks to Tongg for this easy delicious recipe!

There are ongoing controversies concerning wild versus farmed salmon. for more information on farmed and wild-caught salmon so you can form your own opinion, search under salmon nutrition facts on the internet.

Salmon is a very good source of easily digested amino acids, Omega -3 fatty acids, vitamin d, vitamin a, and some B vitamins, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, calcium and iron.


For Roasted Salmon:

* 1 center-cut salmon fillet, about 2 pounds
* Olive oil
* Old Bay Seasoning, to taste

For Salad:

* 1 cup walnuts, or to taste
* 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoon grainy mustard, or to taste
* 1 cup olive oil
* 1/4 teaspoon each saltand freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
* 1 bag romaine lettuce hearts
* 1 5-ounce bag mesclun greens
* 1/2 cup dried cranberries, or to taste

For Salmon: heat oven to 375 degrees on convection bake. Remove any bones from salmon. Rinse with cold water and pat dry. Cut fillet in half lengthwise. Then cut each half crosswise into 11/2-inch-wide pieces. arrange pieces on a baking sheet that is covered with parchment paper. Coat salmon lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with Old Bay seasoning. Bake until fish flakes easily with a fork and flesh is opaque, about 12 minutes for Salad: Toast walnuts on convection bake at 375°f until lightly browned, about seven minutes. Set aside. in a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, garlic and mustard together. Whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. in a large bowl, toss romaine lettuce with mesclun mix. Toss lettuce with dressing until well coated. distribute greens among dinner plates. Scatter walnuts and dried cranberries over each salad. Place roasted salmon on top.

Makes 10 appetizer-size servings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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