Gravlax Salmon Pesto Salad

Gravlax Salmon Pesto Salad
Photo by Vairdy Frail

Serves 2

  • 2½ tablespoons vegetable oil (or other high-heat oil)
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 4 cups mixed greens
  • 2 tablespoons pesto dressing (see below)
  • 8 thin slices gravlax (see below, or substitute store-bought lox)
  • 6 slices watermelon radish, quartered
  • 6 coins cucumber, halved
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • ¼ green onion, sliced

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil and fry capers until crispy, 2 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer capers onto a paper towel. Toss mixed greens in pesto dressing. Add gravlax, radish, cucumber, tomatoes, avocado and green onion on top. 

Pesto Dressing

  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups loosely packed basil 
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spread pine nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until golden brown.

In a blender or food processor, blitz toasted pine nuts, basil, lemon juice and garlic. Slowly add both the oils while continuing to blend for 30 seconds, scraping the sides as needed. Taste dressing and season with salt and pepper as desired. 


  • 1½ teaspoons finely chopped dill
  • 1½ teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 1½ teaspoons finely chopped thyme
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup pickling salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1-pound fillet sockeye salmon

In a bowl, mix the fresh herbs with sugar, pickling salt and paprika.

Place fillet on plastic wrap, skin side down. Add herb and spice mix on top of fillet, then wrap tightly with the plastic wrap. Put on a plate in the fridge for 24 hours to cure. 

Remove from fridge. Drain liquid that has gathered in the plastic wrap, scrape off herb and spice mix, rinse fish lightly and pat it dry. Place fillet in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to slicing; this will make it easier to cut. To slice, place fillet skin side down on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife with the blade at about a 30-degree angle from the fillet, almost horizontal against the fish. Make thin slices against the grain, applying pressure when pushing the knife down.

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