Do you feel like taking a day off from the kitchen and not cooking a single thing? Then this smoked salmon salad is just for you! It is the perfect salad for an easy lunch or dinner that needs no cooking at all. I would almost call it a lazy smoked salmon salad, as you really only need a few ingredients and there is not even a lot of chopping involved. The best part is that you can smoke the salmon the day before and use it for a completely different meal.
You can use the leftover small salmon pieces for this easy smoked salmon salad and top it off with some rocket salad and some ranch dressing. Putting it together takes no time but if you feel like you need more ingredients for a more filling meal then simply toss in any vegetable or ingredient you have in mind and dress it well. Enjoy!
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hot smoked salmon salad
Hot smoked salmon is definitely the star ingredient of this salad. You can use cold smoked salmon but its hot smoked counterpart possesses more texture.
Just take a fork and tear the leftover salmon into small pieces or small flakes. If the fish is high quality and well-cooked, it should be able to separate into small flakes by itself. I have already made hot smoked salmon before, it turned out really well. Check out my hot smoked salmon recipe for more information on different types of salmon and woodchips used for smoking salmon. Ultimately, this should guide you to make the perfect salmon for the smoked salmon salad.
cold salmon alternative
Sometimes, the smoky flavours from the smoker can be quite overwhelming. Especially if you use a type of woodchip which is heavy and produces a rich smoky flavour. Generally, apple woodchips are the best for smoking fish as they have a milder effect in terms of smoky flavour. However, if you are not a fan of hot smoked salmon feel free to use the cold smoked variety if you wish. The cold smoked salmon will have a different end result and you might need to add more ingredients to the salad. This should be done just to get more textures in there.
other fish and shellfish
If you are not too keen on using salmon and find it quite fatty, you can use leaner types of fish. These include haddock, cod, sea bass or halibut. They all work well with the smoking technique. You can also opt out of using fish and just toss in some lobster or prawns. If you use shrimp, you should use marie rose sauce instead of the ranch dressing.
If you really want to be lazy, you can purchase precooked beetroot. Cut those up into a couple of wedges, toss them with the salmon and you’re done. However, if you want more complexity, it’s always best to make these things yourself. In fact, I’ve made delicious roasted beetroot before, which works perfectly with this smoked salmon salad. Beetroot is pretty earthy, but when you roast it, it caramelizes and has this crunch along with sweetness. It brings a new texture to the salad.
I like to use rocket salad because it is crisp, bitter and tangy at the same time. It has the ability to cut through the smoky flavours while also enhancing the other ingredients inside the smoked salmon salad. However, sometimes I find myself looking for rocket salad in the supermarket as it’s a popular salad that gets sold out rather quickly. In this case, my second-best pick is the baby spinach salad. This is because it has the same bitter notes similar to the rocket salad.
There are many things you can throw into the salad to make it more complex. Nuts are a great addition, not only because their crunch but also because of their nutritional value. They are filing and healthy at the same time. For this smoked salmon salad, I used flaked almonds. However, feel free to experiment with pine nuts, hazel nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts or even walnuts. Although, I am a bit hesitant on the walnuts working with salmon. Pumpkin seeds are too aromatic for this recipe and will ruin the overall balance of the smoked salmon salad.
If you want to turn this smoked salmon salad from an easy salad to a fancier version, then you’ll need more ingredients. One of these should be a quail’s egg. Cooking a quail’s egg can be quite tricky, as you want to make sure that when you cut the egg in half, its runny. This is where you’ll really need to be careful so you won’t overcook the egg.
You can also think of adding more vegetables. Why don’t you roast some asparagus or onions and toss those in for extra flavour? The more vegetables, the merrier. Fresh avocado works well with this recipe. Next, I would also recommend adding a bit of fresh spring onions for that extra crunch. Remember to put enough ranch dressing so you bind all the ingredients well together.
Smoked Salmon Salad
Author: Michelle Minnaar
- 125g (4oz) rocket leaves, washed
- 4 (400g/1lb) hot smoked salmon fillets
- 250g (8oz) cooked beetroot, cut into wedges
- 60ml (4 tbsp) toasted, flaked almonds
- 125ml (½ cup) Ranch dressing
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Divide the salad leaves evenly between 4 plates.
- Flake the salmon on top of the rocket and arrange the beetroot next to it.
- Sprinkle with almonds and Ranch dressing. Serve immediately.
- In the UK you can find hot smoked salmon fillets at large supermarkets. Alternatively, you can smoke your own at home (link to hot smoked salmon recipe).
- Roasted beetroots (link to recipe) also work well.
- You can make your own Ranch dressing here (link to recipe).
- In this case hot smoked salmon was used, but feel free to use the cold smoked variety if you wish.
Serving Size 1 serving
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 28.6 g
Saturated Fat 3.8 g
Cholesterol 55 mg
Sodium 924 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13 g
Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
Sugars 7.3 g
Protein 35.7 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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A special thanks to Kelly Reeve for assisting with the recipe shoot.