Seriously Simple Summer Salmon Salad

Ahhh, to be young again. And eat carbs with everything. And not have to think of creative ways to eat salad and pretend to enjoy it even though it’s only enjoyable because it’s healthy.

Well – I can’t help with the fountain of youth; definitely don’t advise eating carbs nonstop (do as I say, not as I do); but I can definitely provide at least one salad that’s guilt-free, delicious, light and perfect for summer. Oh yeah – it’s simple. Literally ten minutes and you’re good to go. Ready? I bet you are – especially if you’re on the west coast and your supermarket is flooded with this fresh, wild caught keta salmon (aka dog salmon, no joke).

Keta is only $4.99 right now at my local Ralphs, and that was impetus enough for me to buy three pounds, and has me thinking about going back to get about ten pounds to freeze. Apparently, keta is the most abundant type of salmon and thusly the least commercially valuable. The texture is as luscious and buttery as sockeye, but it lacks the wallop of clean salmon flavor. It’s a lighter fish with a lighter flavor, which may appeal to your friends or family that is not particularly fond of salmon.

Regardless, I love it and this salad – especially on a beautiful L.A. summer day – was perfect. Enjoy.



  • fresh, wild caught salmon – skin on (keta, sockeye, copper river preferred)
  • spinach, handful of fresh leaves
  • roma tomato, thinly sliced
  • red onion, thinly sliced
  • capers, a pinch
  • fennel fronds, torn
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • brown sugar, to taste
  • serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juice of
  • peanut oil

Dressing (optional)

  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp ponzu sauce
  • 1 tsp, Sriracha
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • lemon zest
  • fennel fronds, torn


  • heat oven to 375°F
  • season salmon liberally with salt, pepper & brown sugar
  • heat grill pan on stove
  • set spinach, tomato, red onion, capers on plate and salt lightly
  • add peanut oil to grill pan
  • apply lemon juice and pepper to leaves
  • once oil shimmers, add salmon skin side down
  • grill pan should be very hot, circulate peanut oil (be careful!) as salmon skin is searing
  • turn heat down to medium-hot
  • let salmon grill for 4 minutes
  • remove pan from stove, put in oven for 6 minutes or until desired doneness
  • remove grill pan from oven, immediately remove salmon from skin and onto wooden surface
  • let salmon cool 2-3 minutes, place on bed of leaves
  • serve with or without dressing
  • if cooked properly, the salmon skin should be absolutely PERFECT for removal within ten minutes of the grill pan being removed from heat. I am a salmon skin junkie and relish this ‘chef’s treat’ each time I make salmon. Would theoretically be good crumbled on salad, but it never makes it past my mouth.



One thought on “Seriously Simple Summer Salmon Salad

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