Winter Salmon Salad with Grapefruit, Avocado and Fennel

When I looked at Reader favorites for 2016, I was surprised at how popular the garden themed posts were.  So I have been working on adding more gardening content on the blog.  I had visions of hanging whimsical molded bird treats in fun shapes for our feathery friends during winter.  Well, they kind of fell apart…and seemed to be attracting squirrels instead of birds even with my I-thought-I-was-being-clever addition of cayenne to the birdseed mix!   So I am not going to be posting that idea!

So another recipe it is!  No matter the season, I live on salads and love them.  I try to choose seasonal ingredients but come winter, that is so much harder to do.  This gorgeous salad boasts grapefruit in segments and in the simple dressing.  It serves up heart healthy salmon and avocado with thinly sliced winter veggies, fennel and radishes, on a bed of tender hydroponic Bibb lettuce.  If you have one, work with a mandoline to get the vegetables paper thin.  Using left over salmon cuts down on the prep time.  Cook the salmon any way you like it:  poached, grilled, oven-roasted or pan fried.  Sprinkle it with your favorite spice rub(I like a chili spice rub with a bit of kick and grilling it on a cedar plank), bring it to room temperature and squeeze half a lemon over it before flaking it into bite size pieces.  Sticking to your New Year goals of eating more healthfully won’t be a sacrifice with this delicious salad.


To assemble:  Spread 1 head of torn Bibb lettuce on a platter.  Top with the salmon (about 16 oz ), 1 fennel bulb, cored, white part only, thinly shaved, 4 thinly sliced radishes, 1/4 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley, 2 avocados, peeled and sliced, the segments of a large Ruby Red grapefruit, peeled, pith and membranes removed.  Work on a plate while segmenting the grapefruit to collect any juice which you will be using in the vinaigrette.  Sprinkle with the arils of half a pomegranate and chopped fennel fronds, if you like them.  Omit if you don’t.  I’ve made it both ways and it is delicious either way.  Serves 4.

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For the dressing:  Dice a shallot or 1/4 cup of red onion.  Place in a mixing jar.  Squeeze the juice of half a lemon, add any grapefruit juice you have collected while working, and top with a good quality olive oil so you have a little more oil than juice.  I love adding a Meyer Lemon-infused olive oil that I get in Philadelphia’s Italian Market at Cardena’s.  Infused oils add so much flavor.  Plain is fine too.  Add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper and shake.  Dress the salad and enjoy the burst of fresh citrus to wake up your winter palate!

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Had to share this beautiful scene by a Norwegian artist I have just discovered and fallen in love with, Asta Nørregaard:


French Kitchen Interior, Asta Nørregaard, 1881, Private Collection



13 thoughts on “Winter Salmon Salad with Grapefruit, Avocado and Fennel

  1. Would love to see more gardening posts from you Johanne. Feeding the birds in the winter is a good one to start with…..too bad the “other” critters got to it first. I need to up my gardening and travel sections of my blog too as I tire of recipes all the time. Your salad has everything I’d like in it, so healthy, seasonal and flavorful. I am having our exercise group for lunch next Friday. I thought of serving a pulled pork, roasted veggies with Israeli couscous and I’m looking for another green vegetable to serve it with. Any ideas that come to mind? Or I could refer to on your blog? Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks Loretta! I would welcome more gardening and travel posts from you too as it is what makes your blog unique and interesting. Your recipes are always enticing too. A good trifecta! I was really surprised at how my top 10 posts had so many decorating/gardening posts in them. Few recipes. I think there are so many food blogs and fewer gardening ones. For your luncheon: How about a nice shaved brussel sprout salad with the pulled pork? You could add seasonal interest with clementine segments and pomegranate which all would go well with the pork. If anyone wants to layer it in a sandwich roll, it could double up like a coleslaw over the pork. It will also hold up well and won’t wilt. Can you believe this weather? Amazing. I thought hanging all those birdseed “cookies” on a bare tree would have made a fun project. I think the seed I bought was too coarse and the binder too thin. Oh well, the life of a blogger, right?

      Johanne Lamarche


  2. What a unique combo Johanne, I love the idea of the paper thin fennel and radishes. I found shaved Brussels sprouts in a bag at Trader Joes the other day and was so thrilled to have the work done for me 🙂 The painting is beautiful, but I don’t think I would like a hanging hunk of meat in my kitchen! My grandson gave me a birdseed gingerbread man for Christmas but it fell apart too if that makes you feel any better! Happy gardening,

    • It does make me feel better Jenna! Thank you for that!!! Ha ha! I love that shaved brussel sprout from TJ and buy if often. Same with the rices cauliflower. Life is too short to not take full advantage of such shortcuts!

      Johanne Lamarche


  3. Very tempting even very early in the morning. It’s a must try when you visit. Love that painting too. It’s your signature sign off.

    Sent from my iPad


  4. These squirrels even chewed on our old garage door so doubt cayenne would bother them. Love feeding my birds but it’s too cold for wimpy me so they’ll have to wait a bit for refills. This salad looks delicious. I love citrus in the winter. It reminds me that warmer weather will eventually be here!

    • Those squirrels are nuisances for sure. They dig up my planters to hide their acorns even when I have cayenne and hot pepper flakes in the soil! I should have known! Stay warm Julie.

      Johanne Lamarche


  5. Indian River county where I live in Florida is famous for their grapefruit which is being picked now. Your salad sounds like a great way of using some….it looks terrific.

    • Thanks Karen. Lucky you to live close to grapefruit orchards! I could eat grapefruit everyday and I always think the ones in Florida are the best. Thin skinned and so juicy! Will be visiting Hollywood soon and will indulge!

      Johanne Lamarche


  6. Pingback: Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup | French Gardener Dishes

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