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Potato, Roasted Red Pepper, and Salmon Salad with Pickled Mustard Seeds

Potato, Roasted Red Pepper, and Salmon Salad with Pickled Mustard Seeds

Renée Robinson

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

Potato, Roasted Red Pepper, and Salmon Salad with Pickled Mustard Seeds

Recipe by Renée Robinson



A full dinner salad of potatoes, roasted red peppers, and pan-fried salmon in a bold vinaigrette. What more could you want? Well, yeah, pickled mustard seeds are also involved.

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  • 1 large shallot, finely diced

  • 2 medium garlic cloves, finely minced

  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 6 - 8 8 finely chopped tinned anchovies

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • Plenty of freshly cracked black pepper

  • Pinch of sugar

  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon, plus a sprig for garnishing

  • 2 large red bell peppers, roasted and peeled (I cut mine in half and broil them until they’re charred, cover and let steam until they’ve cooled. Then peel and slice into thick strips.)

  • 2 1/2 pounds medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 1/4 pounds salmon filets

  • 8 - 10 10 black oil cured olives

  • 2 - 3 tablespoons Pickled Mustard Seeds

  • Small handful of basil leaves


  • Whisk the shallots and next 9 ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste for seasoning, making sure it’s highly seasoned. Set aside. This is the dressing.
  • Cook the potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water for about 30 minutes, until a paring knife easily pierces a potato all the way to the center. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • In a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Salt and pepper the salmon filet and add it to the skillet. Cook until the center is beginning to flake, turning the filet midway through. The amount of time will differ, depending on the thickness of your salmon. This could take as little as 4 minutes and as many as 10. Set aside.
  • When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and slice into 1/4 - 1/3 inch thick slices. Place the potatoes and roasted red pepper strips into a large wide bowl. Add 2/3 of the dressing and gently toss. Turn out onto a large platter.
  • Break up the salmon into chunks and mound in the center of the platter. Pour over the remaining dressing. Top the salad with the olives and several spoonfuls of the pickled mustard seeds. Scatter the basil leaves and tarragon sprig on top. Enjoy!

6 Responses

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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!

    1. 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!

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