Pan-seared salmon, fresh berries, and a sweet poppy seed dressing combine in this salmon strawberry salad. It’s a perfect summer entrée!
Summertime is for salads.
In the middle of a sweltering hot day, you want to feel light. Refreshed. Hydrated. Healthy, even!
And if there’s one thing that says summer even more than salads, it’s fruit. That’s why combining the two is so irresistible.
In this salmon strawberry salad, fresh berries along with creamy avocado, pan-seared fish, and a sweet vinaigrette make for a summertime entrée you’ll want to make again and again!
What Kind of Salmon Should I Use?
Whatever type of salmon you have on hand should work well in this recipe.
Why Pan-Sear the Salmon?
Pan-seared fish is an easy way to end up with juicy, tender morsels that are perfect for flaking apart and putting on salad.
Can I Use Frozen or Dried Fruit in this Salmon Strawberry Salad?
Fresh fruit is best in this setting. Texture is a big part of what makes this salad so refreshing!
However, feel free to play around with what type of fruit you want to use here. Berries are the obvious choice, but kiwi, pineapple, and so forth would be amazing too.
How To Make Salmon Strawberry Salad
Start by preparing your salmon fillets.
Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Then let it rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. (Once it warms up, you’ll get a better sear.)
Next, in a heavy pan, heat olive oil and butter.
I like using this Lodge 12″ carbon steel skillet. It’s great for keeping the heat at a consistent level.
Once butter is melted, cook the salmon for 2 to 4 minutes.
If you can slide the spatula under the fish and it doesn’t stick, it’s ready to flip.
If the fish isn’t ready, give it another 30 seconds, or however long it takes to release.
After flipping the fillets, cook them another 2-4 minutes until done.
If your fish is very thick, it may take a little longer to cook. You can tell it’s done when the sides of the fillets are fully opaque.
Take the fish out of the pan and flake it apart. It’s up to you whether or not to keep the skin.
Cover the fish to keep it hot while you assemble the salad.
For the dressing, whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, poppy seeds, and sea salt.
In a bowl, toss the lettuce and dressing together.
Add the bell peppers, avocado, fruit and seeds and toss again.
Top the salad with the cooked salmon and serve right away, with extra dressing on the side.
Salmon Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
- 8 ounces salmon (2 fillets)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Pinch sea salt
- Pinch pepper
- 4 ounces mixed leafy greens (I use a spring mix with arugula and spinach)
- 4 sweet mini bell peppers, sliced + seeds removed (Or use 1 regular sweet bell pepper, diced)
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 cup quartered strawberries (fresh, not frozen or dried)
- ½ cup blueberries (or use diced pineapple, kiwi or another berry)
- ⅛ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or use wine or rice vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Pat salmon dry. Sprinkle fillets on both sides with salt and pepper.Allow fillets to rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes. (Cold salmon is more difficult to sear.)
- Add olive oil and butter to a heavy pan. Melt butter over medium heat.Place the fillets skin-side down in the pan and cook 2-4 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. (If your salmon fillets don't have skin, it doesn't matter which side you cook first.)As the salmon cooks, the flesh will begin to turn opaque from the bottom up. When the fish has cooked halfway through, it's ready to flip.Avoid touching the fish until the fish is ready to flip.
- Use a thin metal spatula to test the fish. If you can slide the spatula under the fish without the fish sticking to the pan, it's ready to flip. If the fillets won't release, give them another 30 seconds. They'll release when they've finished cooking.Cook fish another 2-4 minutes until done. Timing will depend on the thickness of the fillet. (Watch the sides of the fillets to see when the fish is done cooking. It's finished as soon as there are no more translucent patches and it's fully opaque.)
- Remove fish from the pan, flake it apart with a fork. Discard skin if desired. Cover fish to keep it hot.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Drizzle about ¼ of the dressing over the lettuce and toss.Add the bell peppers, avocado, fruit and seeds and toss again.
- Add salmon to salad and serve immediately, along with extra dressing.