By Karin Calloway
New American Gourmet
Culinary trips through Viking's Worlds of Flavor Travel Programs allow you to get a real taste of your destination without having to map out a trip on your own. In case you missed our previous trip to Napa Valley, this month's New American Gourmet menu is inspired by dishes that might be enjoyed in the California Wine Country.
The menu starts with Baby Spinach Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette, which highlights fresh strawberries, in season now. Herb-Stuffed Salmon Roulade pairs Northwestern salmon with fresh herbs in a pretty presentation. A side of Corn, Edamame and Hazelnut Succotash adds texture, color and crunch to your plate. For dessert, it's a Chocolate Swirl Mascarpone Tart.
We've photographed this menu as a casual dinner buffet, and the meal is perfect for entertaining because most of the recipes can be at least partially prepared ahead. For a more upscale presentation, place one salmon roulade on the center of each dinner plate and surround with the succotash.
Here are some make-ahead tips to help you plan your meal:
-Dessert: Make the cheesecake tart, cool and then refrigerate up to one day ahead.
-Salad: Prepare the vinaigrette, cover and refrigerate, one day ahead. Slice the strawberries and place them in a container with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate one day ahead. Toast the walnuts and crumble the cheese and then store both in separate containers or zip-top plastic bags. Refrigerate the cheese.
-Salmon: Prepare the roulade, wrap according to the instructions and refrigerate for one day. Slice and brown on both sides as early as 8 hours before serving. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Finish cooking the salmon in the 450 degree oven for 8-10 minutes if the salmon is cold.
- Succotash: Sauté the bacon and chop all of the vegetables one day in advance. While you finish the salmon in the oven, sauté the succotash so it is piping hot when the salmon is ready.