Consumer Qs

Salmon salad can have a ‘Georgia Grown’ flair

(Consumer Q’s is produced by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, Gary W. Black, Commissioner.)

Question: I was served something last week I had never heard of before: salmon salad. It was like tuna salad but canned salmon was used instead of tuna. Is this a Georgia thing? I liked it better than tuna salad. Do you have a recipe?

Answer: Salmon salad is not unique to the Peach State, although you can certainly give it a Georgia flair by using Georgia Grown products to make it.

Salmon salad has been around a long time. We found a recipe for it in a Georgia cookbook published in 1872. There are as many ways to make salmon salad as there are ways to make tuna salad. The basic recipe is to drain one can of salmon and mix in one or more tablespoons of mayonnaise. (You do not need as much mayo as for tuna salad because salmon is not as dry as tuna.) Add chopped hard-boiled eggs and celery stalks. You can also add chopped sweet and/or savory pickles, chopped green and/or black olives and minced Vidalia onion. Finely chopped Georgia pecans add texture, flavor and more antioxidants. Some people may add a few capers or sprinkle fresh dill or tarragon on the salad.

Salmon salad is good served with Georgia Grown cucumbers or tomatoes. It can be eaten as a salad on fresh spinach or lettuce or as a sandwich spread. If tomatoes and cucumbers are not available, serve it with wedges of Georgia Grown apples. If you don’t want to use canned salmon, use cooked fresh salmon that has been chilled and then flaked. Don’t be afraid to experiment.

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Q: Beautiful, large, yellow butterflies are all over my flowers. They are an almost solid, pale yellow. They are not as large as tiger swallowtails. I started seeing a few in August, but there were at least eight or nine here today (Oct. 2) fluttering around. Do you know what they are? What can I plant to attract more?

A: They sound like cloudless sulphurs. (Some entomologists call them cloudless giant sulphurs.) Sulphur is an older spelling of sulfur, the mineral whose color is a perfect match to these butterflies. There are other species of sulphurs, but the cloudless sulphur is one of the largest. It is called “cloudless” because some of the other common sulphurs have gray patterns or markings on their wings. Cloudless sulphurs are more abundant in Georgia gardens in late summer and fall. They are beautiful butterflies, and are one of the few species that will migrate south for the winter.

Planting or protecting the larval plants (plants the adults lay eggs on and that the caterpillars eat) along with planting some of the nectar plants the adults feed on are the best ways to attract any butterfly.

Adult cloudless sulphurs prefer to feed on the nectar of many of the flowers that hummingbirds do. Among their favorites are pineapple sage (Salvia rutilans), firecracker vine (Manettia cordifolia), Turk’s cap mallow or wax-mallow (Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii), anisacanthus (Anisacanthus wrightii), Texas or tropical sage (Salvia coccinea), cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) and single-flowered zinnias. They also like native asters, goldenrods and blazing stars (Liatris spp.)

Caterpillars of cloudless sulphurs feed on partridge pea, clovers, Argentine senna (Cassia corymbosa), wild senna (Cassia marilandica) and other legumes, especially sennas (Cassia spp.)

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(If you have questions about services or products regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, visit the department’s website at www.agr.georgia.gov . There you will also find answers to more than 650 questions about food safety, Georgia Grown products, pets, gardening and other agricultural subjects by clicking on Consumer Q’s.)



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