This salad with smoked salmon is one favourite kinds of salads. It’s light, fresh tasting, and packed with flavor. It’s made with sweet orange, fennel, fresh dill, capers, and pine nuts, which is tossed in an orange vinaigrette and served over a bed of young, spring arugula leaves. And it’s simply spectacular.
Inspired from a Sicilian salad
The inspiration for this salad comes from our recent trip to Sicily, where we enjoyed an antipasto hors d’oeuvre platter at Fratelli Burgio which featured all sorts of smoked fish. And one of the delights was a smoked salmon and orange dish with fresh herbs. The combination of smoked salmon and segments of sweet navel orange was an unlikely one for me, but and fantastic discovery. The two go so very, very well together! Which is what inspired me to go beyond just those two ingredients and create the most delicious salad.
Ways to adapt this salad with smoked salmon
I simply love this salad as it is but you could I do have a few ideas on how it could be adapted. I’m pretty sure sliced avocado would be a great addition. You could also choose to add some pomegranate arils for a pop of color and sweet-tart flavor. Pine nuts could be traded out for toasted slivered almond. And rather than serving the salmon-orange mix over arugula you could choose a bed of purslane or lamb’s lettuce. Finally, if you are looking for a little extra freshness you could add thin slices of cucumber and maybe sweet cherry tomatoes.
Choosing smoked salmon
For this type of salad, I like to use wild smoked salmon from my local fish monger. Most important is that it is sustainably sourced and a quality product. When wild isn’t available, I buy farmed salmon, however choose organic. And, in the case of supermarket products, look for the MSC label which indicates it’s a sustainably sourced product.
Looking for other salmon recipe inspiration?
Try one of these delicious recipes:
- Pulled Salmon Burger with Caper-Lemon-Yoghurt Sauce
- Pan-fried Potatoes with Smoked Salmon
- Salmon and Asparagus Tart
- Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta with Peas
Salad with Smoked Salmon, Orange & Fennel
For the salad:
- 2 navel oranges
- 1 small fennel bulb, quartered, cored and very thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, roughly chopped
- 150 g smoked salmon, torn into pieces
- 2 teaspoons capers (in brine), drained and roughly chopped
- 2 handfuls young arugula leaves
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, lightly toasted
For the dressing:
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
To section an orange, cut a slice off the top and bottom of each orange so they sit flat on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, work your way around the fruits to remove all the skin and pith. Holding the orange in one hand and working over a medium-sized bowl, cut the segments out from between the membranes. Over a separate small bowl, firmly squeeze the remains to release all the orange juice (this will be used to make the dressing, and should amount to at least 3 tablespoons of juice).
Add the fennel, dill, salmon and capers to the bowl with the orange segments.
In a small bowl, combine the orange juice, olive oil, lemon juice and orange zest and season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salmon mixture and toss gently to combine.
Arrange the arugula leaves on a serving platter, then top it with the salmon mixture, sprinkle with pine nuts and serve. Enjoy!
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