This seared salmon salad recipe, courtesy of Caroline Barrett, is perfect for the in-between time, the sad, kind of gray time when winter is over, and before there’s anything really growing in your garden. It’s right now that you just can’t stand the sight of another winter stew. 

Early spring cooking can be either depressing (there’s not much at the farmer’s market) or hopeful (there’s about to be a whole lot at the farmer’s market.) Either way, most of what we’re eating is still coming from the grocery store. 

This salad puts together a few textures: sweet, sauteed onions, creamy avocado, crunchy carrot, and an easy, homemade dressing. Place on top of all that a seared piece of wild-caught salmon and a sprinkle of crunchy, salty nuts, and our early spring evenings aren’t looking so gray after all. 

Serves 4

Seared Salmon Salad Shopping List

  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds wild-caught salmon
  • 5 cups salad greens
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced thin
  • ½ cup salted pistachios, chopped fine
  • Fresh chives, chopped

Lemon-thyme Dressing Shopping List:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • black pepper to taste


In a large skillet placed over medium-low heat, pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring now and then, until very soft and starting to turn golden brown on the edges. Remove from the pan and set aside. 

Add a bit more oil and turn the heat up to

Seared Salmon Salad recipe by Caroline Barrett

 medium-high. Season the salmon pieces with salt and add to the pan. Cook for two minutes on each side, and remove to a plate to rest for a moment. 

To assemble the salad: On a platter, arrange the greens, carrots, sautéed onions, avocado, and salmon pieces. Sprinkle the pistachios and chives over all. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and drizzle just enough to moisten the salad. Serve the salad with the remaining dressing on the side. 

Great with tater tots and a glass of white wine. 

Caroline Barrett writes about food and families. She teaches cooking classes at Different Drummer’s Kitchen in Albany. You can find her at

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