Making a healthy, fresh salad that features wild-caught seafood as your protein of choice can be as simple and delicious as placing an expertly seared/grilled/roasted/poached fillet on top of a bed of greens. But where’s the fun in that?
Get excited about enjoying wild-caught seafood in salads by changing up some of the fundamentals, using lots of herbs and unexpected ingredients to keep things interesting. Here are 7 ideas for summer and beyond that are anything but boring.
Poached Cod Salad with Warm Shallot-Caper Dressing
This recipe for cod salad from Food & Wine is served warm. Poached in a kombu-infused bath, your fish will be perfectly moist, tender, and have a hint of umami when it’s cooked just right. From there, all you really have to do is gently break it into large chunks — a size that will fit perfectly on the end of your fork — sprinkle it in fresh herbs and fine olive oil, then whisk together a briny, warm shallot-and-caper dressing. Serve with medium-boiled eggs, whose golden yolks, the texture of honey, will be just runny enough to meld with the dressing into a beautiful mess on your plate. Considering making this recipe with pollock, as well.
No-Cook Smoked Salmon Salad
Another recipe from Food & Wine, this spinach salad is as no-fuss as a seafood salad can get. In fact, it requires no cooking, since you’re using cold-smoked salmon. Aside from slicing some cucumbers and radishes, the only part of this that requires any effort at all is making your own fresh dill and lemon dressing, which takes 30 seconds to do. To assemble the salad, toss everything together with this dressing just before serving.
Warm Potato and Leftover Salmon Salad
Elegant and customizable, this warm potato and salmon salad from The Kitchn is dressed with a champagne vinaigrette and tossed with whatever fresh veggies and herbs you have in the house — green beans and dill, fennel and capers, avocado and chives, it’s completely up to you. Though the recipe itself calls for canned salmon (which is typically wild caught, by the way!), we suggest you use a leftover, flaked fillet instead. Serve on greens of your choice.
Superfood Salmon Salad
This salad from Epicurious is the definition of nutritious and delicious, with a curry-marinated fillet of salmon, quinoa, finely shredded kale, and a delicious coconut-curry dressing made with manuka honey. Everything gets tossed together right before serving, so this salad is almost like a grain bowl. Keep in mind that coconut oil is solid when stored below 76 degrees F, so you may need to gently warm the oil if you’re preparing this in a kitchen where it’s cooler.
Spanish Salt Cod Salad with Oranges and Black Olives
If you’re feeling ambitious, try turning your fillet of Alaskan cod into a Portuguese-style salt cod for this Iberian-inspired dish from Serious Eats. It will take several days to cure the cod itself, and then several more to soak the fillet so that it’s seasoned but not inedibly salty, so this one is more a labor of love and curiosity than a go-to meal on any given day. Once your cod is ready to go, everything comes together quite easily — just make sure you have good oranges and high-quality black olives to use in the dish.
Salmon and Citrus Salad
Samin Nosrat’s recipe for roasted salmon uses citrus fruits every step of the way to build layers of intense flavor. It starts with slow-roasting the fillets on a bed of thinly sliced citrus — lemons, oranges, grapefruits, pomelos, anything that you have that is juicy. Then, in a vinaigrette made with fresh-squeezed citrus juice, you’ll quick-pickle shallots and onions. Finally, everything is tossed together with segments of citrus and pieces of creamy avocado.
Vietnamese-Style Salmon Salad with Pickled Veggies
This Vietnamese-inspired grilled salmon salad from The Cooking Channel is chock-full of crunchy pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, and the sweet-sour-savory flavors of a homemade nuoc cham sauce. Plan ahead to make this one, as you’ll need a few days to properly pickle up your produce, and you also might need to make a run to a local grocer that carries specific ingredients like Vietnamese mint, perilla leaves and bird’s eye chili.