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Have you ever eaten in one of those trendy, bistro style restaurants and wished you could make the same amazing salad at home? Now you can! I always go for the “full meal in a bowl” salads with chicken or fish, vegetables, cheese, nuts and fruit. I’m often surprised how well ingredients such as these, with nearly opposite flavors and textures, compliment one another and fit together perfectly. Each summer (or spring) I create recipes to feature our homegrown fresh vegetables in Garden-to-Table posts. Since we recently started harvesting our homegrown asparagus, I thought this would be a great time to combine a hearty salad with my favorite spring vegetable in a Salmon Asparagus Salad – from our Garden to Table.
We planted asparagus three years ago and each season it grows stronger and multiplies. They say a good asparagus garden can last up to 20 years but that you should let it get well established before picking. Some recommend waiting two or three seasons before hitting it hard. Now that we reached the third season, we often check the asparagus in the morning because on a good warm, sunny day, it can grow big enough to pick by dinner. A super productive asparagus garden may need picked twice a day during peak season. Asparagus is loaded with B vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, and iron making it an amazing super vegetable for your table.
The salmon is seasoned with salt and pepper and broiled to form a nice tender crust. Once cooled the salmon is divided into large bowls atop assorted greens. The salad is finished with lightly steamed fresh (homegrown) asparagus, crumbled feta cheese, dried cranberries, cherry or grape tomatoes and a handful of walnuts. A homemade Lemon Vinagrette is drizzled on top and before you know it, you have your own restaurant quality salad … at home!
Salmon Asparagus Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
For the vinaigrette:
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ cup lemon juice, about 2 juicy lemons
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot, ½ a small shallot
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons honey
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
- ⅓ cup olive oil
For the salad:
- ½ pound wild caught salmon fillet, skin on
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- 4 - 6 cups assorted lettuce and wild greens
- 12-14 stalks fresh asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese
- To prepare the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients and whisk together until combined. Set aside at room temperature while preparing the salad.
- Preheat the oven to Broil. Coat the salmon fillets in 1 teaspoon olive oil, on both sides. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Heat an oven proof skillet on medium and place the salmon in the skillet, skin side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes then turn and cook another 2-3 minutes. Turn the fillet back over so the skin side is down and place under the broiler. Broil until the salmon is cooked through and crispy brown on top.
- Remove the salmon from the oven and transfer to a clean plate. Cool while preparing the salad.
- Place the asparagus pieces in the top of a steamer basket. Bring to a boil and steam, with the lid on, for 2-3 minutes or until the asparagus is bright green. Remove from the heat and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain on paper towels before adding to the salad.
- Fill two large bowl with the greens. Divide the salmon and asparagus between the two bowls and finish with all remaining ingredients. Season with fresh ground pepper if desired. Drizzle with the lemon vinaigrette and serve immediately.
- Substitute dried cherries for the cranberries or pecans for walnuts if desired.
Hope you had a lovely weekend. I’m heading back out to the garden to weed my herb and flower box. We can’t wait for tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash to grow. Stay turned for more asparagus recipes coming soon. Thanks so much for stopping by!