Julia’s Salmon, Potato and Bean Salad
There is something very special about the transition from winter to spring. A feeling of anticipation, new beginnings and warmer weather. The promise of longer days, outdoor eating and lazy afternoons. It’s exciting, even more so this year, in particular if you happen to reside in Melbourne. We are ready!
This salad is something I love to make anytime of the year but it definitely has a certain spring feeling to it. It makes for the most wonderful lunch or light dinner and requires very little cooking and effort. While the salmon cooks in the oven, the rest of the ingredients are prepared and then, like magic, it is ready! It is very adaptable too. Beans can be replaced with peas or asparagus and herbs can vary depending on what you have on hand. I love the yoghurt dressing, it’s creamy without being too heavy and marries everything together really nicely. If you can’t find any blood oranges for the salmon, simply use some lemon or omit altogether, it will still be lovely.
600g medium dutch cream potatoes (approximately 5)
4 salmon fillets (approximately 800g)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 blood orange
250g green beans, trimmed
Large handful of watercress or rocket
Large handful of soft herbs, leaves picked. I used dill, basil and parsley
1/2 lemon, very thinly sliced
150g natural yoghurt
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1tsp dijon mustard
Juice of half a lemon
sea salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Place the potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water. Season the cooking water and bring up to the boil over a high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook the potatoes until tender when poked with a knife (approximately 25 minutes). Set aside to cool briefly then slice into 2cm thick rounds.
Meanwhile, place the salmon fillets, skin side down, in a small roasting pan. Slice half of the blood orange into thin rounds and place in and around the salmon. Squeeze the other half of the blood orange over the salmon along with the olive oil. Season with sea salt and roast in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the salmon is just cooked through and flakes easily. Flake the salmon into large pieces, discarding the skin and orange slices.
Blanch the beans in a small pot for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to an iced water bath to cool. They should be bright and still-crisp. Cut the beans in half on an angle.
Prepare the yoghurt dressing my whisking all of the ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Season to taste.
On a large serving plate, arrange the potatoes, followed by the beans and then the salmon. Then scatter the watercress, herbs and lemon slices amongst it all. Spoon over the dressing and season with a little more salt and pepper and serve.
What else I’m cooking with:
Berries! Nothing says spring like the first of the berries. In galettes, brioche tarts, on pancakes.
What else I’m eating:
Broad bean crostini topped with dollops of ricotta from the spring chapter in my new cookbook A Year of Simple Family Food.
Lemon zest and vibrant greens add zing and seasonal flavour. Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.
This spring salad is a wonderful lunch or light dinner, and requires very little cooking and effort. Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.
Beans can be substituted for asparagus or peas, if you want to make it at different times of the year. Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.
This staple yoghurt dressing is an absolute go-to for any salad – it’s creamy without being too heavy! Photo – Julia Busuttil Nishimura.