This spinach salad recipe with salmon is perfect for lunch or a light dinner.
Just add a crusty roll and you’re done.
Baby spinach has a nice light flavor and a softer texture than fully grown spinach. Both are full of nutritional value and you can certainly use either in this recipe. (You can find out more about the health benefits of spinach and why it is one of our 10 healthiest foods here.)
Salmon is also on our list of the 10 healthiest foods to eat because it too is packed with nutrients our bodies crave.
The salmon fillets in this recipe are simply prepared. Just bake them in the oven drizzled with toasted sesame oil. You can find sesame oil in the Asian foods section of pretty much every grocery store these days.
It’s best to buy toasted sesame oil for this recipe. I prefer to use toasted sesame oil over regular sesame oil in most Asian dishes. It has a lovely pungent flavor.
Please note, if you have not used sesame oil before, it has a much stronger flavor than vegetable oils, so smell it first and use it sparingly. A little of this wonderful oil goes a long way.
The salad and the salmon are topped off with a wonderfully flavored dressing made of the toasted sesame oil plus a bit of spicy toasted sesame chili oil, tamari sauce and peanut butter.
If you can’t find toasted sesame chili oil, just use the regular toasted sesame oil and add a few flakes of dried chilies to the dressing. Use a light hand unless you like things particularly hot.
If you need this recipe to be gluten free, please make sure your tamari or soy sauce is gluten free. Some are not.
This is a wonderful diabetes diet recipe. It is low carb and full of very healthy ingredients. So if you need diabetic recipes, include this one in your favorites.
This lovely salmon and spinach salad recipe comes from a fantastic cookbook called Simply Fresh: Casual Dining at Home, based on the restaurant recipes from the Ruby Tuesday chain. (You can find our review of the cookbook here.)
Spinach Salad Recipe with Salmon and Sesame Peanut Dressing
For the Salad Dressing:
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil, toasted
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame chili oil, toasted
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tamari, or soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter, unsalted
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup red onion, sliced
- black pepper, freshly ground
For the Salad:
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, toasted
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil, toasted, plus 1 teaspoon
- 4 salmon fillets, skin-on, 6 ounces each
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 green onions, white part only, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 1 carrot, medium-large, peeled and grated (about 1 cup)
- 8 to 10 ounces baby spinach
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- To make the dressing, combine the peanut oil, sesame oil, chili oil, vinegar, tamari, peanut butter, ginger, and garlic in a large salad bowl. Mix thoroughly using a wooden spoon. Add the red onion and stir to coat evenly with the dressing. Season with pepper. Set aside.
- On a cutting board, using a large-bladed knife, coarsely chop the peanuts. Set them aside.
- To prepare the salmon, coat a baking pan just large enough to hold the salmon in a single layer with 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Sprinkle the salmon fillets lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the fillets, skin side down, in the prepared pan. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil evenly over the fillets.
- Bake the fillets for about 15 minutes, or until they are barely opaque at the center when tested with a knife but still moist.
- Turn the oven to broil and move the baking pan to the top oven rack directly under the broiler. Broil for about 2 minutes, or until the tops of the fillets are golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and let the fish cool for a few minutes.
- While the fish is cooling, add the green onions, carrot, spinach, and half of the peanuts to the salad bowl and toss to coat evenly with the dressing.
- Divide the salad among 4 plates. Using a spatula, lift the fillets, one at a time, from the pan, leaving the skin behind stuck to the pan surface.
- Arrange a salmon fillet on top of the greens on each plate. Garnish with the remaining peanuts and serve at once.
Please note that if you absolutely need this recipe to be gluten free, please make sure that your tamari or soy sauce is gluten free. Not all are.