For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with Ina Garten and her style of cooking. There is something so simple yet so incredibly sophisticated about her cooking. She inspires me to be a better cook and I have learned so much from her. After seeing her make a salmon Niçoise salad, I fell in love! I absolutely love the concept of a Niçoise salad. A huge platter of my favorite vegetables, some good carbs, and salmon. I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that.
Salmon Niçoise originated from the city of Nice (France). It is traditionally made of tuna, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, niçoise olives, anchovies, and dressed with olive oil. But, the beauty of this salad is that you can make it your own. I think it’s one you don’t have to be too technical about. There are a few must-have ingredients; Hard boiled eggs, salmon or tuna, tomatoes and some type of dressing. Once you have those ingredients, the rest is very customizable.
Today, I am using spinach as a base. But, I also enjoy using arugula, or romaine as a salad base of Niçoise. Now a lot of the Niçoise recipes I have seen tend to use tuna or oven baked salmon. However, I really want this salad to have a bit of a smoky flavor to it so I decided to grill the salmon and some of the vegetables. I also opted for asparagus and zucchini as additions to the recipe because that is what I have on hand. This is a perfect example of truly customizing the salad to your taste buds or simply using what you have in your fridge.
SALMON NIÇOISE SALAD W/ MUSTARD AVOCADO DRESSING
WHOLE30 II PALEO II LOW CARB
This salad is definitely one of those meals you can impress a huge crowd with. And, if you are having a SuperBowl party this weekend, why not introduce your friends and family to a delicious Whole30 and Paleo meal that they will love.
You can also make the base for the salad and switch things up a bit by using our Grilled Salmon in a Garlic Butter Sauce as your protein and dressing.
Grilled salmon and veggies with a creamy avocado dressing
1/2 lb. fingerling or mini potatoes
4 tbsp. melted ghee
1 lb salmon fillet (4 4 ounce fillets)
salt and pepper
1 zucchini (sliced)
1 bunch of asparagus – trimmed
3 ounces cherry tomatoes (halved)
2 cups of baby spinach or arugula leaves
A handful of cilantro leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/8 tsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 of an avocado (diced)
1/4 cup avocado or olive oil
water as needed (I used 1 tablespoons)
To start, bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and eggs to the pot of water and boil for 7-10 minutes (depending on the size of your potatoes) until potatoes are fork tender. Now, immediately transfer eggs to an ice bath, then peel and set aside. Drain potatoes and transfer them to a plate and tent with foil.
Now, skin salmon and fillets and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides. Then, heat a grill pan over high heat until it starts to smoke. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of melted ghee into the pan and gently add the fish to the pan flesh side down. Sear/grill the fish between 2-4 minutes (being careful not to move the fish around, when it is ready to flip, it will start to pull away from the pan). Flip the fish and sear for another 3 minutes. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside to cool.
Now, drizzle another tablespoon of ghee onto the grill pan and grill zucchini for about 1-2 minutes on both sides. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Then add the remaining tablespoon of ghee to the grill pan and grill asparagus for about 3-4 minutes (turning frequently) and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Now, make the dressing. Add cilantro, and garlic cloves to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Now, add salt, mustard, lemon juice, and avocado. Continue to pulse until smooth. While the food processor is still running, slowly add in the avocado oil until the mixture is well combined. Then, add a little water at a time and continue to pulse to your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Finally, build the salad. Start with the spinach or arugula as your base, then add tomatoes, potatoes (cut in half), grilled asparagus and zucchini and finish with salmon, and eggs (cut in half). Serve with the avocado dressing as needed.