This Seared Salmon and Spinach Salad is a healthy, quick salad featuring baby spinach, mangoes, avocados, red onion, and cashews, and dressed with a lovely ginger-lime vinaigrette... It's topped with a delicious ginger chutney glaze with a hint of Indian flavor.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbor:
"Winter is dead."~~A.A. Milne, When We Were Very Young
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
With conflicting emotions, we've bid adieu to winter in the Rio Grande Valley. I still long for the hearty soups and stews of winter, but for now I will embrace the lighter fare of summer.
The original inspiration for Seared Salmon and Spinach Salad With Ginger-Lime Vinaigrette came when faced with how to use an abundance of leftover tandoori chicken from a recent dinner party. I have a mental block with just heating up last night's meal, so I set my mind to coming up with a light, healthy salad that would complement the flavorful Indian tandoori chicken.
This salad definitely "fit the bill." Taking a delicious salad from a side dish to a filling main dish is simple with the addition of your choice of protein. This is a common strategy during the summer months in my kitchen!
I have been known to wax poetic about the benefit of using flavor profiles to come up with new dishes. I am not exaggerating. 🙂 Authentic Indian food doesn't include a lot of green salads. I wanted a green salad that would complement an Indian main dish (the tandoori); a quick Google search turned up a couple of cucumber salad recipes... not quite what I was looking for.
Our local markets' bins are brimming with mangoes and avocados. While avocado isn't typically associated with Indian cuisine, mangoes are used in everything from chutney to dal and curry. Cashews, spinach, and thinly-sliced red onion round out this healthy salad.
The seared salmon fillet cooks on a very hot pan (we used our gas camp stove!), and brushed with a glaze of a lovely ginger-mango relish, lime juice, and olive oil.
To illustrate the speed and simplicity of this dish, let me say I made this the day I took the photos while we were enjoying the last of "winter" at Falcon Lake State Park with our camping trailer. I'm being a bit facetious when I say "winter," as we really don't have that season in the Rio Grande Valley. It would pass as spring or fall in northern climates. 🙂
After March, the weather is hot enough to keep people indoors most of the time, hence the "winter is dead" quote. Our camping trailer will probably remain in storage for the next 6 months... That being said, we downsized to a 14' Aliner (tiny) trailer, and the kitchen is exceptionally small. We bought an "outfitter" gas camp stove with high BTU.
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- ginger mango relish, or similar
- vinegar - I like white wine or champagne for this recipe.
- olive oil
- dijon mustard
- ginger-mango relish, or similar
- olive oil
- salmon - I have used both steaks and fillets.
- greens - I like baby spinach, but baby kale or mixed young greens are great as well!
- roasted cashews
- onion - I like red onion for this spinach salad recipe. The choice is yours.
- Make the salad dressing - Combine all of the salad dressing ingredients in a personal blender or small food processor. Pulse until smooth. Taste. If it's too acidic, add more olive oil. Season as desired. Set aside.
- Make the spinach salad - Add greens to a large salad bowl. Toss with enough dressing to very lightly coat the greens. Top each with ¼th of the mango, ¼th of the avocado and red onion, and ¼th of the cashews. Serve the remaining dressing on the side.
- Cook the salmon - Whisk the ginger-mango relish, lime juice and zest, olive oil, salt and pepper together in a small prep bowl. Prepare a heavy pan (with a cover) with cooking spray, then get it very hot. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place on the prepared pan (skin side down if they have skin). Brush the glaze on top of each fish fillet. Cover and cook until flesh is desired doneness - about 4 minutes per ½" thickness. Mine were about 1" thick, and took 8 minutes.
- Serve - Top each of the salads with a salmon fillet. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve additional dressing on the side. Enjoy!
I use Shan's Ginger-Mango Relish. This relish is heavy on the ginger, and isn't very sweet. If you can't find it, you can substitute mango chutney (widely available), and add about a teaspoon of finely minced or grated ginger.
What other kinds of fish can I use? If you don't care for salmon, substitute a firm fish like halibut, swordfish, shark, tuna, and mahi mahi (aka dorado) are good options.
I prepped the salad, seared those salmon fillets, and had this lovely meal on the table for photos in under 30 minutes - as the sun was setting in the campground. If I can make this dish under less-than-ideal kitchen conditions in 30 minutes, you most certainly can do it in your own!
🐟 More Healthy Fish Recipes
- Tuscan Fish with Cannelini Beans, Tomatoes, and Spinach
- Speckled Trout Veracruz
- Baked Mediterranean Fish with Lemony Orzo
- Easy Chamoy Glazed Salmon
- Salmon in Quick Green Mole Sauce