I've been in a real big funk lately with periods of sadness intermingling with the desire to do absolutely nothing. I'm going to go ahead and assume it's because I'm sick of gray days and ready for some nice sunny Spring days. This salad is perfect for days when you're feeling the blues and have virtually no motivation. Plus, you'll spend most of the time prepping ingredients, giving you the time you need to zone out and mope about whatever is annoying you that day.
Note: You will have additional arugula and parsley left over, so the cost may be a bit higher unless you can buy arugula by the handful. You can reduce the cost of this meal by using a more affordable fish such as tilapia!
Serves: 2, with leftover vegetables
Cost: $$ (Depending on the cut of fish you use)
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 35
2 skin-on salmon filets, weighing about .4 or .5 pounds a piece
Salt and pepper to taste
A few handfuls of arugula
1 small fennel bulb, fronds reserved
1 watermelon radish
A few sprigs of parsley
A handful of sugar snap peas
A handful of green string beans (or yellow wax beans)
1 tablespoon butter
1 small shallot
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard (or replace with just Dijon mustard)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Flaky sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
A few splashes of heavy cream
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Prep Ingredients: Pat the salmon dry and season with salt and pepper. Chill until ready to use. Cut off two wedges of the lemon and reserve for garnish. Juice the remaining lemons (You should end up with about 4 tablespoons of lemon juice). Cut off the stalks of the fennel and discard or reserve for another use. Roughly chop a few teaspoons of the fronds and reserve for garnish. Peel off any tough outer layers of the fennel bulb before cutting in half and removing the core. Very thinly slice the fennel bulb. Peel the watermelon radish and thinly slice. Pick the leaves from the parsley and discard the stems. Trim the tops of the sugar snap peas and the string beans.
Make the Salad: In a medium bowl, combine the arugula, watermelon radish, sliced fennel, parsley, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Season with flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Use your hands to gently toss the vegetables before covering and placing in the fridge to chill.
Make the Salad Dressing: In a food processor, combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, the shallot, the whole grain Dijon mustard, the regular Dijon mustard, and a few splashes of heavy cream. Pulse until smooth. Drizzle in the extra virgin olive oil and continue pulsing until smooth and creamy. If the dressing is too thick, add a bit of additional cream to thin it out. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl and chill until ready to serve.
Make the Salmon: Heat a 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high until very hot and almost smoking. Place the salmon, flesh side down, in the skillet and cook without moving for 4 minutes until the top is golden brown and crisping up around the edges. Gently flip and fry the skin for an additional 4 minutes until very crispy. Remove from the pan and transfer to a plate. Tent with aluminum foil. Carefully drain the remaining oil in the pan (or very carefully wipe it out). Return the skillet to the stove.
Fry the Sugar Snap Peas and the Beans: Add the butter to the skillet and heat over medium high until very hot. Add the sugar snap peas and the green beans and cook, tossing regularly, for 4-5 minutes. Do not overcook. Both the sugar snap peas and the beans should be a bit crunchy. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl. Immediately drizzle 3 teaspoons of the dressing on top of the peas and beans and gently toss to coat.
To Serve: Divide the salad between plates and top with a helping of warm sugar snap peas and green beans. Top with a salmon filet and garnish with a few fennel fronds. Serve with lemon wedges and remaining dressing at the table and the leftover peas and beans in a serving bowl. Enjoy!
Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!