Strawberry, spinach and salmon salad is the perfect spring and summer salad recipe – and it only takes 15 minutes to make! Fresh strawberries are tossed with baby leaf spinach, romaine lettuce, goat’s cheese and pecans, then drizzled with a sweet and tangy poppy seed vinaigrette and topped with delicious, flaky baked salmon.
Strawberry, spinach and salmon salad ingredients
This salad combines winning salad ingredients – spinach, fresh strawberries, pecans and goat’s cheese – and it presents beautifully. It’s perfect for the warm weather months of spring and summer when strawberries are in season and you’re craving a light and fresh recipe that pairs beautifully with salmon.
Here’s what’s in this salad recipe:
- Baby leaf spinach: Packed with vitamin C and iron, baby leaf spinach forms the bulk of this salad.
- Romaine lettuce: For crisp freshness. You could also use cos or iceberg.
- Fresh strawberries: The star ingredient! Use organic strawberries if possible.
- Goat’s cheese: Just a sprinkling adds delicious creaminess. Use crumbled feta, or a dairy-free alternative (remember to read the labels and look for minimal ingredients) if you prefer.
- Pecans: For their sweet, nutty and buttery flavour.
- Salmon: This salad is topped with a delicious, flaky salmon fillet, baked to perfection. The addition of protein makes this salad a nutritionally-balanced meal. Salmon is great for fertility and pregnancy as it’s packed with anti-inflammatory healthy fats that support hormone health, and foetal brain development.
Shopping for salmon
- Wild salmon is best. Steer clear of farmed salmon. Why? Wild-caught salmon generally has more nutrients, a better texture, a brilliant hue, and better flavour (translation: a more delicious baked salmon!)
- Salmon varieties. There are several varieties of salmon, and the ones I recommend are wild Alaskan and sockeye. Wild salmon does have seasons and each of these varieties are available at different times throughout the year. But no matter which you choose, just look for fillets that are vibrant pink in colour.
- Fresh vs. frozen salmon. Unless you’re going to a fish market that has fresh catches of the day (which can be expensive), grab frozen salmon instead. Yes, it’s totally okay, and often better than the “fresh” salmon you’ll find sitting on ice…which isn’t so fresh. Frozen salmon is flash frozen on the ship right after it’s caught to preserve freshness!
How to thaw frozen salmon
- If you planned ahead of time, thaw it in the fridge. Ideally, you want to slowly thaw your salmon in the fridge overnight. Or about 12 hours before cooking it. Just make sure to keep the fish in it’s wrapping and place it on a plate to catch any liquid.
- If you’re hours away from dinner, thaw it in cold water. Not to worry if thawing it overnight slipped your mind! You can thaw your salmon by submerging it in a big bowl of cold water. This should take about an hour or so, depending on its thickness. But be sure to swap for fresh water if it starts to become lukewarm.
What salad dressing goes with this salad?
Poppy seed vinaigrette is a simple recipe, made from just 7 ingredients.
- Extra virgin olive oil: The basis of all great salad dressings, I love this high-quality Erbology extra virgin olive oil, use the code charlotte15 for 15% off your order.
- Apple cider vinegar with the mother: My favourite is Willy’s apple cider vinegar
- Honey: Manuka or raw honey really make this dressing, but any runny honey will work.
- Dijon mustard: I love Delouis Dijon mustard for its minimal ingredients. Available from Able & Cole.
- Poppy seeds: The star ingredient!
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper: To balance out the flavours.
How to make strawberry, spinach and salmon salad
This salad comes together easily with a few simple steps. Here’s how you make it:
- To make the salmon, preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line a baking tray with plastic-free baking parchment. Place the salmon on the prepared tray, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.
- To make the salad, place the baby leaf spinach, romaine lettuce, strawberries, goat’s cheese and pecans in a large bowl and toss gently to combine.
- To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a small jug and whisk to combine.
- Serve! Divide the salad between serving bowls and drizzle with the poppy seed vinaigrette. Top with the salmon fillets to serve, for the most delicious, flavourful, highly addictive, healthy strawberry spinach salad recipe.
Salmon cooking tips & tricks
- Season the fillet just before baking. Seasonings (especially salt) can draw out moisture much quicker. So for extra moist results, season right before sliding the pan into the oven.
- It’s best not to remove salmon skin. Whether you like salmon skin or not, don’t remove it before baking. It will help protect the fillet from the pan’s heat, cook the salmon more evenly, and retain its delicious juices. Then once you’re ready to serve, you can easily slide the skin right off.
- Don’t rinse salmon with water. Just like chicken, don’t wash your raw fish. It can increase your risk of contamination and spread to other surfaces of your kitchen such as the sink or countertop. Plus, the bacteria is killed once it cooks inside a hot oven.
- Don’t be alarmed by the white ooze! If you notice some white slimy substance on top of your baked salmon, don’t panic. It’s actually just a protein in the salmon called albumin that becomes solid when heated. The hotter salmon cooks, the more albumin will come out. So to prevent a thick white layer, cook your salmon at a gentle temperature.
More salad recipes to try
- Broccoli spinach salad with blueberries (similar, but different!).
More salmon recipes to try
I hope you enjoy this strawberry spinach salad. If you make it, let me know how it turned out. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below, or post in The Fertility Kitchen Community.
Strawberry, spinach and salmon salad
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Line a baking tray with plastic-free parchment. Place the salmon fillets on the prepared tray, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, place the spinach, romaine, strawberries, pecans and goat's cheese in a large bowl and toss gently to combine. Make the poppy seed vinaigrette.
- Divide the salad between serving bowls, drizzle with the poppy seed vinaigrette and top with the salmon to serve.