I love salmon on salads and this Seared Sockeye Salmon Salad with Figs and Honey Lemon Basil Vinaigrette is my new fave. Copper River Salmon sent me a few Prince William Sound Sockeye Salmon Filets to make two new recipes. The first recipe is my Grilled Sockeye Salmon with Summer Stone Fruit Salsa. This salad is the second recipe.
I am a huge fan of salads year round, but they are especially good in the summer because summer produce is my favorite. I don’t mean to hate on winter produce, there is some I love such as persimmons, but the variety is much wider in summertime. I also love summertime for produce because that means my garden is full!
This year our fig tree is producing more than it ever has and it is almost 1o feet tall! We also planted way too many tomatoes this year, which my girls love. Especially my salmon loving 9 year old. She will go out to the garden to pick tomatoes for us and end up eating a few handfuls of the cherry tomatoes.
We also have some plants growing that we didn’t plant. Well, not on purpose. We have a compost pile for all of our organic trash, mostly produce waste like pineapple peels, orange peels, melon rinds etc. and pumpkin seeds from carving jack-o-lanterns last year. Once every few years those pumpkin seeds grow and we end up with half of our yard turning into a pumpkin patch. One of these years I am going to set up our go-pro camera to record the pumpkins with time lapse photography. They grow so insanely fast. It is amazing. This year we have one huge one that is already orange, not sure it will make it to Halloween. Two more just started growing and are already just smaller than a basketball. We also have some small ornamental pumpkins growing. My girls love it.
So with the abundance of produce in my backyard garden I knew my second sockeye salmon recipe was going to be a salad using a couple of the fruits and vegetables we are growing. Figs and cherry tomatoes in the salad, basil in the vinaigrette. I started the salmon out just lightly seasoned since I didn’t want it to be too over seasoned to overpower the light flavors of the salad.
For this sockeye salmon salad recipe instead of grilling the salmon, I decided for a quick sear on a cast iron pan. One thing I love about cooking on cast iron is that the pan heats up nicely for a sear and doesn’t heat up the house like cooking in an oven does. I love cooking salmon in cast iron pans especially more delicate pieces like these thinner sockeye salmon filets. Preheating the pan is essential for nice even cooking. Less time spent over the heat is my kind of cooking in summertime!
Often times when making salads I will do a sweep of the refrigerator for salad toppings. A see what needs to be eaten NOW before it goes bad and before we go grocery shopping again. My salads end up being quite the combination of ingredients. I love a mix of salty, sweet, crunchy and creamy with my salads, they are my 4 salad requirements. This seared Sockeye salmon salad works so well with all four of those requirements. Salty from the seasoning on the Sockeye salmon, sweet from the figs and blueberries, creamy from the goat cheese and crunchy from the almonds.
I guess I have 5 requirements since I also love a good tangy salad dressing or vinaigrette. The honey lemon basil vinaigrette uses fresh basil from my garden. I love blueberries with salmon too. I have a recipe in my blog archives for Copper River salmon with a hatch chili blueberry sauce. Hatch chilis are so good but have a super small season. I will often buy extra and freeze to have later in the year. And that would be a 6th element of flavor I love with salmon – spice.
Salad plus Sockey Salmon a perfect healthy summertime meal. I mentioned these facts about wild Sockeye salmon in my prior post for Copper River Salmon, but want to mention again. I can’t speak highly enough of this salmon. It’s delicious, so easy to prepare so many ways and it is so so so good for you!!
– Sockeye salmon is caught wild in Prince William Sound by the same fleet that harvests Copper River salmon. The Prince Williams Sound is
is a sound of the Gulf of Alaska on the south coast of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is located on the east side of the Kenai Peninsula.
Certified sustainable by both Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and the Marine Sustainability Council.
– Sockeye gets its red color from its natural diet of crustaceans.
– Super lean protein that contains more than just the Omega-3s everyone talks about. Also has vitamin D and E and niacin which help regulate hormones, nourish skin and hair and promote healthy brain function
– 220 calories in a 3.5oz serving.
Seared Sockeye Salmon Salad. Say that three times fast!!
- For the Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 C White Balsamic or White Wine Vinegar
- 1/3 C Honey
- Juice of 1 1/2 Lemons, about 2-3 tbsp
- 1 C fresh Basil leaves
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 Pepper
- 1 C Olive Oil
- For the Salmon:
- Four 5 ounce Sockeye Salmon Filets
- 1 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1 tsp Parsley
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1-2 tsp oil, grapeseed or avocado
- 1 Tbsp high heat oil such as grapeseed or avocado oil for pan
- For the Salad:
- 4-5 cups of lettuce per bowl consisting of a mixture of mixed salad greens, arugula and micro greens or micro sprouts
- 2 C Fresh Figs, quartered
- 1 C Cherry Tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 C Blueberries
- 4 Ounces Goat cheese, crumbled
- 4 Tbsp Cup Sliced Almonds
- 1/2 Small Red Onion, thinly sliced
Make the vinaigrette first. Combine everything except the oil in a blender and blend until the basil is mostly pureed. Slowly add in the oil until combined. Taste and add more seasoning if desired. Set aside until ready to use.
Preheat cast iron pan over medium high. Combine seasonings in a small bowl. Lightly brush tops of salmon with oil, divide season evenly.
Heat tablespoon of oil in preheated pan, once shimmering place the salmon skin side up in the pan. Sear for 3-4 minutes. Carefully flip and continue to sear 4-5 min until fish is done and skin is starting to get crispy. Remove from pan and let cool for a minute or two before adding to salad.
Assemble the salads.
Place 4-5 cups of salad greens, arugula and micro greens or sprouts in a large salad bowl, top with one quarter of the sliced figs, 1/4 c cherry tomatoes, 1/4 c blueberries, one ounce of the crumbled goat cheese, one tablespoon sliced almonds, and some of the red onion. Top with one of the salmon fillets and drizzle dressing over the top. Serve.
You can cut the sockeye salmon into smaller filets if a smaller salad is desired. The dressing makes quite a bit and can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. Bring to room temperature and stir well before using.