Roasted Salmon Niçoise Salad

As we close out November and get ready for December, we might all be looking for a little clean eating before we dive into our next holiday-fueled culinary adventure. So while I'm offering salad this time around, it's hardly a typical one. Inspired by summer's popular Niçoise Salad, it swaps the traditional tuna for salmon and roasts it alongside tender taters and crisp green beans while you assemble a plate of greens crowned with sweet sungold (or other cherry) tomatoes, chopped egg, and briny olives. Then you drizzle it all with a simple, flavorful homemade dressing right before you dig in.

You can, of course, mix and match what you opt to put into this salad, but I really enjoy this particular combination of ingredients, especially since our growing season ran late here in southern Wisconsin and I have been able to work fresh garden tomatoes into this mix alongside baby potatoes from my family's CSA box. When it came to making the dressing, I used a lovely garlic-dill mustard that I will literally just eat out of the jar with a spoon. Find that kind of mustard to work into your dressing and you cannot go wrong!

Since this recipe really does have it all, I just pour a glass of chilled white wine or cider and call it dinner. Save the sides for something that doesn't do as much heavy lifting as this gorgeous, delicious, nutritious salad manages to do this late in the year. Bon appétit!

Roasted Salmon Niçoise Salad

For the hot ingredients:
  • ½ pound young potatoes, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 salmon filets, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons butter or butter substitute, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed
For the cold ingredients:
  • 8 ounces mixed greens
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup kalamata olives
For the dressing:
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Toss together the potatoes with the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread them out in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast the potatoes for 13 to 15 minutes, or until just tender and starting to brown a bit.

Remove the sheet pan from the oven; push the potatoes to one side of the sheet pan and arrange the salmon fillets down the center.

Melt the butter or substitute in a small mixing bowl and whisk in the garlic, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Remove 1 tablespoon of the butter-garlic mix and set it aside. Rub the salmon evenly with the remaining butter mixture. Add the green beans to the other side of the pan and toss them with the reserved melted butter mix.

Season everything with the remaining salt and pepper.

Return the sheet pan to the oven and continue baking for 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden and fork-tender and salmon is cooked through. If you want extra browning on top of the salmon, put the sheet pan under the broiler for the last 2 to 3 minutes of roasting.

While the salmon and vegetables are roasting, assemble the salad plates by arranging greens on serving plates and adding chopped egg, sliced cherry tomatoes, and kalamata olives. Set aside until the salmon and vegetables are done roasting and then add those to the serving plates as well.

You can also make the dressing while the roasting is happening. Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a resealable jar. Add the lid and shake it vigorously to combine. Drizzle the dressing over the hot and cold salad ingredients and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 2 main dish servings
  • Preparation Time: 40-50 minutes