I Hesitated to Call This a Salad Because It Is So Much More.
You know how it is when you get a taste for something and can’t get it out of your mind? Drives me nuts until I can satisfy that urge. I’d been thinking about roasted red peppers with potatoes in a highly seasoned anchovy dressing. And this is what I came up with.
The peppers and dressing can be made early in the day. If time is an issue, you can substitute roasted peppers from the grocery store. But if you have the time, I highly recommend making them yourself because they are so much better, in both taste and texture. Cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds and place them cut side down on a foil lined sheet pan. Cook them under the broiler until the skin is thoroughly blistered and charred. At that point I enclose them in that same foil and let them rest until they’re cooled. The skin then peels right off and you’ve got some beautifully roasted red peppers. They could even be made the day before.
The dressing needs to be strongly flavored, so I used shallots, garlic, anchovies, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and olive oil. A pinch of sugar, along with some minced fresh tarragon balanced it out perfectly.
I made the pickled mustard seeds a couple of days ahead of time, so all that was left to deal with were the potatoes and the salmon.
I chose Yukon Gold potatoes for this because of their creamy texture. After they’d been boiled until tender and were cooling, I cooked my salmon in a skillet on the stovetop. The salmon happened to be particularly thick – about an inch and a half. This enabled me to keep it in the skillet long enough to develop a nice brown crust without overcooking it. If your salmon is thinner, you just need to test it and take it off the heat when it begins to flake. Because there is dressing on the salmon, it can stand to be cooked for a little longer than I would normally cook it. After removing the salmon from the heat, I let it sit while I peeled and sliced the potatoes.
At that point it’s simply a matter of layering the potatoes and peppers in a large flat bowl and gently tossing them with most of the dressing, while saving some for the salmon. I used my hands for this to be sure I didn’t break up the potatoes. Turn them out onto a large platter. Break up the salmon into chunks and mound it in the center, drizzling with the remaining dressing. Spoon on the pickled mustard seeds, sprinkle the top with a few black oil cured olives, and a small handful of basil leaves.
This turned out to be exactly what I’d been hoping it would be. It was comforting and exciting at the same time. It’s good served warm or at room temperature. Again, this is my kind of meal. Hope it’s yours, too. I
Finally got around to making this last night and wish I didn’t wait so long. It will become part of my regular rotation. It is just to two of us so I halved the recipe and even had a little left over for lunch today. Super healthy, simple meal. Boiling and slicing the potatoes is the most “work” needed for this recipe. I think it would be a great selection for part of a brunch menu too. I didn’t have black olives so I used Castelvetrano olives.
Thanks so much, Karin! I greatly appreciate your very kind words and I’m so happy to like it. Thanks so much for letting me know.
Such a hardy salad with great flavors and textures. Going to be a frequently made dish at our home!
Tracy, I feel the same way about this salad. It’s a great fit for any time of the year, isn’t it? And the leftovers are great, too. Thank you!
HI! If I use hot-smoke salmon should I readjust the amount of salt in the dressing? Thanks.
Hi there, Sharon! It depends. I found this salad required quite a bit of salt, due to the potatoes. They really suck up the salt. If your salmon is particularly salty, you can hold back on the salt in the dressing and then taste it after you’ve added it to the potatoes and peppers. You can always sprinkle on additional salt if it’s needed, right? Please let me know how you like it. It should be great with your salmon!