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COOKING ON DEADLINE: Recipe for shaved fennel and smoked salmon salad

This March 31, 2014 photo shows a shaved fennel and smoked salmon salad in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

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This March 31, 2014 photo shows a shaved fennel and smoked salmon salad in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

How many breakfasts in bed does it take for a mom to get sick of breakfast in bed on Mother's Day?

Rather than test the theory, I decided to go in a different direction this year. I wanted to create a light, yet still filling dish that would work well no matter what time of day it was served — brunch, lunch or dinner. And I wanted it to play nicely with whatever else was served.

The solution was deliciously easy — a salad of shaved fresh fennel and red onion tossed with a light dressing spiked with dill, whole-grain mustard and just a pinch of sugar. And heaped on top? Roasted new potatoes and a mound of thinly sliced smoked salmon dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and black pepper.

Mom doesn't like salmon? No worries. Substitute cooked and chilled shrimp. Or go crazy and serve a bit of each.

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SHAVED FENNEL AND SMOKED SALMON SALAD

Start to finish: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

12 ounces new potatoes, quartered

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Salt and ground black pepper

1 large or 2 medium bulbs fennel, trimmed

1/2 small red onion

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

1/2 teaspoon sugar

8 ounces cold-smoked salmon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Chopped fresh dill

Heat the oven to 425 F.

In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet, then roast until tender and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the roasted potatoes to a plate and refrigerate just until no longer hot, about 10 minutes.

While the potatoes cook and cool, use a mandoline or food processor to shave the fennel as thinly as possible. Do the same with the onion. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, the mustard, sugar and a hefty pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the shaved fennel and onion, then toss until well coated. Divide the mixture between 4 serving plates. Top with the cooled potatoes.

Divide the salmon into thin slices. In a medium bowl, drizzle the salmon with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive and the lemon juice. Gently toss to coat, then season with pepper. Mound a quarter of the salmon over each salad, then sprinkle with fresh dill.

Nutrition information per serving: 280 calories; 150 calories from fat (54 per cent of total calories); 17 g fat (2.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 22 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 13 g protein; 870 mg sodium.

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J.M. Hirsch is the food editor for The Associated Press. He blogs at http://www.LunchBoxBlues.com and tweets at http://twitter.com/JM_Hirsch . Email him at jhirsch@ap.org

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