Salmon Nicoise Salad

I’ve really been missing a garden this summer…there just hasn’t been enough time to tend to one this year.  So I was very excited when a friend gave me a bag of homegrown green beans.  Oh, my…what shall I do with them?  My boys wanted some of Groomer’s Copper River Salmon for dinner, so I figured I’d just incorporate the green beans and make a Salmon Nicoise Salad.

While there are many different definitions of “Nicoise Salad”, they all seem to agree that it originated in the area of Nice, France.  Most contain nicoise olives, tomatoes, potatoes, anchovies and hard boiled eggs.  Some restaurants will serve the salad on a flat plate with the various vegetables in sections rather than all mixed together.  It’s then usually topped with seared tuna and drizzled with a vinaigrette.

My version, though, is mixed and topped with salmon that I season, sear in a skillet, then finish in the oven.  There really isn’t a set amount of ingredients. It’s all a matter of preference or what you have on hand in the fridge!

I stumbled upon a good video lesson for how to properly cook salmon and other fish, so if you’re a little intimidated about cooking fish, click here!

Salmon Nicoise

Salmon Nicoise Salad

Salmon Nicoise Salad

ingredients

  • fresh salmon fillets (I like mine skinless) **see Liz’s Tidbits
  • small red potatoes, cut into quarters (I used little red new potatoes, but fingerling would be good too)
  • fresh green beans (I like haricot verts)
  • cherry tomatoes
  • hardboiled eggs, peeled and cut in 1/2
  • kalamata olives, pitted

lemon-mint vinaigrette

  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil

Blend all in blender.

preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place cut potatoes on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven 15-20 minutes until done. Check at the halfway point and turn with a spatula. When done, set aside to cool.

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add a tablespoon of kosher salt and the green beans. Blanch for about 4 minutes until crisp tender, drain and immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once cool, dry on paper towels and set aside.

For the salmon, heat a non-stick OVEN PROOF skillet over medium high heat. Pat salmon dry with a paper towel, brush with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper or your favorite seasoning. Once skillet is hot, place fish seasoned side down and cook 2-3 minutes until a nice brown crust has formed. Carefully turn fish over and place skillet into the oven for another 3-4 minutes or until done to your liking. Remember, the fish will continue to cook from the residual heat, so keep that in mind. Let the salmon rest for about 5 minutes…it should be pink in the center and flake apart easily.

Place the green beans, potatoes, tomatoes and olives in a large bowl. Top with salmon and hardboiled eggs and drizzle with vinaigrette.  Buon appetito!

Liz’s Tidbits:

If I’m planning to sear my salmon in the skillet and finish it in the oven, I’ll ask Chuck at Groomer’s to skin the filets for me (he’s always so helpful and knows just exactly how I like my fish!)   If I’m grilling instead, I’ll leave the skin on as it will act as a protective layer between the fish and the fire.

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