Salmon Salad Nicoise

A nod to our namesake, this beautiful recipe features apricot jam in a tangy-sweet dressing.  Perfect for a small dinner party, this dish is an amazing way to feature fresh garden produce.  Farm fresh eggs, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes…the combined platter is gorgeous and fresh, while the meal is light, yet complete.  Molly has shared this recipe with many of her friends, and it has become a favorite in many of their houses, too.

Salmon Salad Nicoise

This recipe comfortably feeds four, but it also very easily doubles to serve more.  Molly likes to use softened ghee, rather than fully melted for this recipe, as it allows the marinade to initially stick to the fish a bit better.  It eventually melts in the oven, but it seems to offer more even coverage when spread on more thickly in the onset.

  • 4 people
  • 45 minutes
  • Moderate

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of salmon with the skin
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 3 tbsp softened ghee*
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice, separated
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 tsp sea salt, separated
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 3 tbsp apricot jam**
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 7 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 pastured eggs
  • red onions
  • 12 small red potatoes
  • 1/2 lb green beans
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • caper berries & small capers
  • mixed greens

Instructions

  1. On a large serving platter, arrange the following items...
  2. Salmon - Buy 1 lb of salmon with the skin. Bring it home, rinse and run clean hands along the salmon looking for spikey bones. Remove the bones using tweezers (I keep some permanently in the kitchen).
  3. Preheat the oven to 500˚. Locate a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Place the salmon on it.
  4. Make the marinade below. Pour very generously over the salmon, rubbing it in slightly. Coat it as thickly as possible.
  5. Once the oven is ready, pop the salmon in for 13-15 minutes or until just flakey.
  6. Allow to cool. Remove the skin, and break into big chunks to set on the platter.
  7. Marinade - Combine all ingredients (whole grain mustard, melted ghee, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, 1 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper) and spread over the salmon.
  8. Dressing - Combine all ingredients except the olive oil (apricot jam, lemon juice, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1/8 tsp fresh cracked pepper) in a small bowl.
  9. Slowly stream in the olive oil with a whisk until combined.
  10. Serve this alongside the platter for people to help themselves. I like to serve it in a little creamer pitcher, for a cute presentation.
  11. Hard Boiled Eggs - Place 4 eggs in a pot with water to generously cover. Bring to a boil.
  12. Cover, remove from heat and set aside for 13 minutes using a timer.
  13. At 13 minutes, pour off the hot water and replace with cold water.
  14. Once eggs are slightly cool, peel under cool running water (makes them easier to peel). Slice in half and place on platter.
  15. Thinly Shaved Red Onions - If you have a Japanese Mandolin, you will get really thin slices like the picture above. They are only about $15 and are a great tool to have. If you don't have one, just slice as thin as possible. Either way - stay focused while slicing!
  16. Red Potatoes & Green Beans - Boil scrubbed potatoes in very salty water until al dente. Add green beans.
  17. Cook an additional 4 minutes or until green beans are al dente. Drain.
  18. Rinse in very cold water until both potatoes & beans are cool.
  19. Toss potatoes in EVOO & S/P when done. Serve green beans as is. Add both items to the platter.
  20. Rinse and drain grape tomatoes and add to the platter. Easy enough!
  21. Sprinkle caper berries and capers around the finished platter. If caper berries can't be found, olives may be substituted.
  22. Rinse mixed greens if necessary. Dry well, and place in a big wooden bowl served along-side the platter.
  23. Bread & Butter - John and I use Manna Bread, a sprouted bread that can be found at most whole foods and other health food stores, or we like Authentic Sourdough Bread. Whichever, just slice it nicely, place neatly on a plate with a small bowl of cubed butter and serve with the platter.

Recipe Notes

* Ghee is clarified butter (which means the milk solids in the butter have been boiled off) often used in Indian cuisine that can be found at a Whole Foods or most health food stores. Without the milk solids, it has a higher cooking temperature than butter, and it won’t burn at the high temperature of this recipe.

** Look for one that is 100% fruit to avoid added sugar.